If every writer necessarily draws on their own life, is any writing outside the realm of ‘autobiography’? The new edition of this classic guide is fully updated to include:
- developments in autobiographical criticism, highlighting major theoretical issues and concepts
- different forms of the genre from confessions and narratives to memoirs and diaries
- uses of the genre in their historical and cultural contexts
- major autobiographical writers including St Augustine, Bunyan, Boswell, Rousseau and Wordsworth, alongside non-canonical autobiographies by women
- twentieth-century autobiography including women's writing, black and postcolonial writing, and personal criticism
- a new chapter on narrative and new material examining recent trends in autobiography such as blogs, the popularity of literary memoirs and recent developments in theory on testimonial writing.
Combining theoretical discussion with thought-provoking readings of major texts, this is the ideal introduction to the study of a fascinating genre.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Introduction Authors and Subjects The Law of Genre Poststructuralist Interventions 1. Historians of the Self Saint Augustine’s Confessions Non-conforming Selves: John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding Serial Selves: James Boswell and Hester Thrale Sublime Egos: Rousseau and Wordsworth 2. Subjectivity, Representation and Narrative Freud’s Unconscious Barthes’ Autobiographical Signs Derrida and the Traces of Autobiography Feminism and Poststructuralism 3. Other Subjects Gender, Modernism and Autobiography Locating Difference Landscape for a Good Woman Postcolonial Subjects 4. Narrative Contemporary Memoir Writing 5. Practising Autobiography Personal Criticism Testimony and Memory Politics and Memory Glossary Bibliography Index