Literary Trauma: Sadism, Memory, and Sexual Violence in American Women's Fiction

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Examines representations of political, psychological, and sexual violence in seven novels by American women.
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Editorial Reviews

In this analysis of literary witness-bearing to psychic-cum-political trauma provoked by sexual violence, Horvitz (Salem State College; School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) samples the fiction of seven North American women writers from the late 19th and 20th centuries<-->promising emancipatory, yet reactionary eras: Leslie Marmon Silko, Gayl Jones, Pauline Hopkins, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. From a reading informed by psychoanalytic, feminist, and multicultural literary studies, the author reaffirms that there is a gender difference in equating inflicting pain with sexual gratification and that such analyses help break the vicious cycle. She also calls for a parallel study of male-authored fiction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Chapter 1 Introduction: Bearing Witness 1
Chapter 2 Reading the Unconscious in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead 25
Chapter 3 Freud and Feminism in Gayl Jones's Corregidora and Dorothy Allison's Bastard out of Carolina 39
Chapter 4 Hysteria and Trauma in Pauline Hopkins's Of One Blood; Or, the Hidden Self 57
Chapter 5 Postmodern Realism, Truth and Lies in Joyce Carol Oates's What I Lived For 75
Chapter 6 Intertextuality and Poststructural Realism in Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" 99
Chapter 7 Conclusion: Words Finally Spoken 131
Notes 135
Works Cited 157
Index 169
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