This exploration of women's autobiographical writings in the Americas focuses on three specific genres: testimonio, metafiction, and the family saga as the story of a nation. What makes Laura J. Beard’s work distinctive is her pairing of readings of life narratives by women from different countries and traditions. Her section on metafiction focuses on works by Helena Parente Cunha, of Brazil, and Luisa Futoranksy, of Argentina; the family sagas explored are by Ana María Shua and Nélida Piñon, of Argentina and Brazil, respectively; and the section on testimonio highlights narratives by Lee Maracle and Shirley Sterling, from different Indigenous nations in British Columbia. In these texts Beard terms "genres of resistance," women resist the cultural definitions imposed upon them in an effort to speak and name their own experiences. The author situates her work in the context of not only other feminist studies of women's autobiographies but also the continuing study of inter-American literature that is demanding more comparative and cross-cultural approaches.
Acts of Narrative Resistance addresses prominent issues in the fields of autobiography, comparative literature, and women's studies, and in inter-American, Latin American, and Native American studies.
About the Author
Laura J. Beard is Professor and Chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures at Texas Tech University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Part 1 Addressing the Self: Autobiographical Metafiction 11
1 The Mirrored Self: Helena Parente Cunha's women between Mirrors 15
2 The Self Exile: Luisa Futoransky's Babelic Metatext 40
Part 2 From Self to Family to Nation: The Family Saga as an Autobiographical Genre 65
3 Re-membering the Nation by Remembering the Family: Ana Maríia Shua's The Book of Memories 72
4 The Autobiographical Text as Memory Box: Neéelida Piò's Thr Republic of Dreams 93
Part 3 Bearing Witness to the Self and the Community: Testimonial Works by Indigenous women 111
5 "The Life of Bobbi Lee Is about Why We Must Talk": Testimonial Literature as a Call to Action 121
6 "Part of Surviving Is through Remembering": The Ethics and Politics of Life Narratives about Indian Residential School Experiences 139
Works Cited 177