Fictions of Childhood: The Roots of Identity in Contemporary French Narratives

Fictions of Childhood: The Roots of Identity in Contemporary French Narratives

by Marjorie Salvodon

Hardcover(New Edition)

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Fictions of Childhood explores the complexity of French identity in writings that focus on the experience of children. Nina Bouraoui, Linda Lê, and Gisèle Pineau—French writers of Algerian, Vietnamese, and Guadelupean origin, respectively—are discussed within the text because of their use of educational and familial contexts to explore the meanings of childhood in fiction. In their role as literary double agents who view French identity against the grain, these three writers perceive French identity from multiple angles. The selected texts counter preconceived notions about children and childhood in their portrayal of child narrator-protagonist—mostly girl children—who make prophetic revelations. They are marginalized schoolchildren who denounce French society and institutions for failing them, children who cross the boundaries of gender and sexuality, and children of the French empire who tell French colonial and post-colonial history from their unique perspectives. The current crisis in French universalism is mirrored in the literary portrayal of child figures as victors and victims because these representations make visible the relational dynamic between France and her former colonies, which underlie the silenced history of colonialism and post-colonialism that continues to define French identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739118290
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 05/05/2008
Series: After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 126
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.51(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Marjorie Attignol Salvodon is assistant professor of humanities and modern languages at Suffolk University.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Table of Contents Chapter 2 Dedication Chapter 3 Acknowledgements Chapter 4 Preface Part 5 I Histories of French Belonging Chapter 6 Introduction: Narratives, French Identity, and Childhood Chapter 7 1 Double Appurtenance: The Paradox of French Multiculturalism Part 8 II Fictional Narratives of Identity Chapter 9 2 Uneasy Belonging Chapter 10 3 Resilient Identities: Telling and Remembering Violence Chapter 11 4 Negotiating Borders: Childhood, Cultural Identity, and Loss Part 12 III French Identity at the Crossroads Chapter 13 Conclusion: France— un formidable puzzle Chapter 14 Bibliography

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