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Female Stories, Female Bodies: Narrative, Identity, and Representationby Lidia Curti
Synopses & Reviews
A white knight meets his half-black half-brother in battle. A black hero marries a white woman. A slave mother kills her child by a rapist-master. A white-looking person of partly African ancestry passes for white. A master and a slave change places for a single night. An interracial marriage turns sour. The birth of a child brings a crisis. Such are some of the story lines to be found within the pages of An Anthology of Interracial Literature.
This is the first anthology to explore the literary theme of black-white encounters, of love and family stories that cross—or are crossed by—what came to be considered racial boundaries. The anthology extends from Cleobolus' ancient Greek riddle to tormented encounters in the modern United States, visiting along the way a German medieval chivalric romance, excerpts from Arabian Nights and Italian Renaissance novellas, scenes and plays from Spain, Denmark, England, and the United States, as well as essays, autobiographical sketches, and numerous poems. The authors of the selections include some of the great names of world literature interspersed with lesser-known writers. Themes of interracial love and family relations, passing, and the figure of the Mulatto are threaded through the volume.
An Anthology of Interracial Literature allows scholars, students, and general readers to grapple with the extraordinary diversity in world literature. As multi-racial identification becomes more widespread the ethnic and cultural roots of world literature takes on new meaning.
Contributors include: Hans Christian Andersen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles W. Chesnutt, Lydia Maria Child, Kate Chopin, Countee Cullen, Caroline Bond Day, Rita Dove, Alexandre Dumas, Olaudah Equiano, Langston Hughes, Victor Hugo, Charles Johnson, Adrienne Kennedy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Guy de Maupassant, Claude McKay, Eugene O'Neill, Alexander Pushkin, and Jean Toomer.
Exploring women's narratives from an innovative feminist perspective, Female Stories, Female Bodies combines theory and textual commentary in a wide-ranging interrogation of representation and identity, gender and genre. Cultural critic Lidia Curti takes us through a diverse range of texts in a broad spectrum of media and genres, drawing on feminist, psychoanalytic, postmodern, and postcolonial theory in a challenging and rigorous discussion of such themes as hybridity and monstrosity, the male and female gaze, melancholia, desire, and paranoia.
From Angela Carter and Toni Morrison to Jeanette Winterson and Jane Bowles, from daytime t.v. to Shakespearean drama, Curti examines variegated "textualities" in search of the "spaces and times" that narrative occupies in women's lives. Following de Certeau's dictum that "our stories order our world, providing the mimetic and mythical structures for experience," she argues that women must retrace their way in the interminable plurality of female narrative texts as a strategy for resisting the "official" closure of female identity. Female Stories, Female Bodies takes us on such a journey, bringing the body of female narrative to bear on the lived experiences of women everywhere.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 206-216) and index.
About the Author
Lidia Curti is Professor of English at the Instituto Universitario Orientale, Naples.
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History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General