Synopses & Reviews
In Remnants of Empire in Algeria and Vietnam: Women, Words, and War author Pamela A. Pears proposes a new approach to Francophone studies. The work uses postcolonial theory, along with gender and feminist inquiries, to emphasize the connections between two Francophone literatures, Algerian and Vietnamese. Specifically Pears focuses on four novels: Yamina Mechakra's La Grotte eclatee, Ly Thu Ho's Le Mirage de la paix, Malika Mokeddem's L'Interdite, and Kim Lefevre's Retour a la saison des pluies. All four novels show the profound transformation of women's roles in Algeria and Vietnam during and following the presence of French colonialism. These four authors never attempt to unfold a clear and single definition of the postcolonial female subject. Instead, they explore the various subjective possibilities, expand on them, and ultimately place them in question. Although the differences between Algeria and Vietnam are striking, it is through their connections to one another that we can foreground postcolonial gender issues. Whereas geographical boundaries and official nationalities serve as divisive classifications, the links between the works lead us to a much more engaging dialogue and ultimate understanding of postcolonial Francophone literature.
Remnants of Empire in Algeria and Vietnam proposes a new approach to Francophone Studies through an examination of four specific Algerian and Vietnamese novels written in French by women. The connections between their works and shared colonial history lead us to a deeper understanding of postcolonial literature.