Writing Back: American Expatriates' Narratives of Return

Writing Back: American Expatriates' Narratives of Return

by Susan Winnett
     
 

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The migration of American artists and intellectuals to Europe in the early twentieth century has been amply documented and studied, but few scholars have examined the aftermath of their return home. Writing Back focuses on the memoirs of modernist writers and intellectuals who struggled with their return to America after years of living abroad.

Susan

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Overview

The migration of American artists and intellectuals to Europe in the early twentieth century has been amply documented and studied, but few scholars have examined the aftermath of their return home. Writing Back focuses on the memoirs of modernist writers and intellectuals who struggled with their return to America after years of living abroad.

Susan Winnett establishes repatriation as related to but significantly different from travel and exile. She engages in close readings of several writers-in-exile, including Henry James, Harold Stearns, Malcolm Cowley, and Gertrude Stein.

Writing Back examines how repatriation unsettles the self-construction of the "returning absentee" by challenging the fictions of national and cultural identity with which the writer has experimented during the time abroad. As both Americans and expatriates, these writers gained a unique perspective on American culture, particularly in terms of gender roles, national identity, artistic self-conception, mobility, and global culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Even scholars familiar with these works will find Winnett's reading fresh, erudite, and insightful.

Forum for Modern Language Studies

Winnett’s tightly-argued chapters, and the sense of intellectual exchange between them, mark this as an important book in the literary history of transatlantic migration.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421407821
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
11/09/2012
Series:
Rethinking Theory
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Winnett is University Professor of American Studies at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany). She is the author of Terrible Sociability: The Text of Manners in Laclos, Goethe, and James.

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