Dissenting Fictions: Identity and Resistance in the Contemporary American Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

This study elucidates the relationship between identity formation and resistance to racial and sexual oppression in a group of contemporary American novels the author terms "dissenting fictions," narratives that assert the subjectivity and historicity of marginalized peoples at precisely the moment when postmodern critiques proclaim the death of the subject and the inaccessibility of historical "truth." Of primary concern is the question of how narrative fictions conceive of strategies of resistance to oppression...
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Dissenting Fictions: Identity and Resistance in the Contemporary American Novel

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Overview

This study elucidates the relationship between identity formation and resistance to racial and sexual oppression in a group of contemporary American novels the author terms "dissenting fictions," narratives that assert the subjectivity and historicity of marginalized peoples at precisely the moment when postmodern critiques proclaim the death of the subject and the inaccessibility of historical "truth." Of primary concern is the question of how narrative fictions conceive of strategies of resistance to oppression in an age in which the identity politics of the sixties and seventies have given way to "positional subjectivities," "fluid" identities, and coalition politics.

Through interpretive readings of the works of well-known authors Toni Morrison and Leslie Marmon Silko, critically acclaimed novelist David Bradley, the well-respected but little-studied novelist Russell Banks, and the relatively unknown Leslie Feinberg, whose fiction challenges accepted notions of gender, the author explores a range of practices that place notions of identity in crucial relationship to resistance praxis. Dissenting fictions emerge in this study as imaginative narratives that perform substantial cultural work, reworking classical liberal notions of subjectivity and agency. These novels address the failure of conventional individual agency and imagine an interactive agency grounded in an awareness of both a political economy and historic power relations.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Starting from the identity politics slogan that "the personal is political," Moses explores the reinvention of identity in selected "dissenting fictions" by contemporary US authors. Her analysis spans: "the unbearable whiteness of being" and the Africanist presence in Russell Bank's ; the struggle for an embodied resistance against oppression in Toni Morrison's ; identity, masculinity, and desire in David Bradley's fiction; storytelling, history, and resistance in Leslie Marmon Silko's ; and the "queering class" of Leslie Feinberg's . Moses apparently is a freelance scholar, as no affiliation is cited. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Preface; Chapter 1: Introduction: The Dissenting Subject; Chapter 2: The Unbearable Whiteness of Being and the Africanist Presence in Russell Bank's Continental Drift; Chapter 3: Playing in History's Dark: The Struggle for Agency in Toni Morrison's Jazz; Chapter 4: Identity; Masculinity, and Desire in David Bradley's Fiction; Chapter 5: The Center of Power is Nothing: Storytelling, History and Resistance in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead; Chapter 6: Queering Class: Leslie Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues; Afterword: "Sabotage and Subversion, Then, Are This Book's Objectives"; Works Cited; Index.
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