Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism

Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism

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by Kristi Siegel
     
 

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Using an approach that links feminist, psychoanalytic, and cultural theory, Dr. Siegel examines how the figure of the mother becomes a site of textual turbulence in women's autobiography as well as an underexamined metaphor in modern culture and feminism. Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism analyzes writings from a wide array of authors including…  See more details below

Overview

Using an approach that links feminist, psychoanalytic, and cultural theory, Dr. Siegel examines how the figure of the mother becomes a site of textual turbulence in women's autobiography as well as an underexamined metaphor in modern culture and feminism. Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism analyzes writings from a wide array of authors including Simone de Beauvoir, Nathalie Sarraute, Annie Dillard, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Erma Bombeck, Betty MacDonald, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alta, Nancy Mairs, Anne Roiphe, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and H�l�ne Cixous.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Does pregnancy render a woman "a body among minds?" Linking feminist, psychoanalytic, and cultural theory in confronting such questions in how mothers have been represented by themselves and their daughters, Siegel (English, Mount Mary College, Wisconsin) analyzes how metaphors of motherhood affect feminism and even how the "reborn" body is viewed in organ transplantation. Perspectives examined range from the rejection of motherhood in Simone de Beauvoir's to "the housebroken, domesticated gothics" of Erma Bombeck. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820436784
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
American University Studies
Pages:
195

What People are saying about this

Gregory S. Jay
S.What's a mother to do? And what's a daughter to do with her? These questions lie at the heart of Kristi Siegel's fascinating study, aptly titled Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism. Through a series of engaging discussions of writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Nathalie Sarraute, Annie Dillard, and Maxine Hong Kingston, Dr. Siegel exposes how women's texts give voice to the culturally enforced ambivalence—or outright hostility—toward mothers. Does modern culture now value motherhood and the work of mothering, or do we find ourselves once more caught up in the same old myths, fears, repressions, and misunderstandings? Dr. Siegel's book demonstrates in particular the centrality of an uneasy mother-daughter discourse within modern women's autobiographies. At the same time she places this discourse in a wider cultural context that includes TV shows like thirtysomething, the bestsellers of Erma Bombeck, and the advent of postmodernism. Anyone interested in modern literature, feminism, or cultural politics will find Dr. Siegel's volume provocative and enlightening. Indeed, I recommend it to anyone who has a mother.
—Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book covers a wide spectrum of issues: women's autobiographical theory, feminist theory, and cultural theory. I particularly liked the diverse array of women autobiographers presented (the selections included more traditional women autobiographers along with those from popular culture). The book presents the material clearly without resorting to jargon.