Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives
Violence and Violation
Edited by Sorcha Gunne, Zoe Brigley Thompson
Routledge – 2010 – 246 pages
The essays in this volume discuss narrative strategies employed by international writers when dealing with rape and sexual violence, whether in fiction, poetry, memoir, or drama. In developing these new feminist readings of rape narratives, the contributors aim to incorporate arguments about trauma and resistance in order to establish new dimensions of healing. This book makes a vital contribution to the fields of literary studies and feminism, since while other volumes have focused on retroactive portrayals of rape in literature, to date none has focused entirely on the subversive work that is being done to retheorize sexual violence.
Split into four sections, the volume considers sexual violence from a number of different angles. 'Subverting the Story' considers how the characters of the victim and rapist might be subverted in narratives of sexual violence. In 'Metaphors for Resistance,' the essays explore how writers approach the subject of rape obliquely using metaphors to represent their suffering and pain. The controversy of not speaking about sexual violence is the focus of 'The Protest of Silence,' while 'The Question of the Visual' considers the problems of making sexual violence visible in the poetic image, in film and on stage. These four sections cover an impressive range of world writing which includes curriculum staples like Toni Morrison, Sarah Kane, Sandra Cisneros, Yvonne Vera, and Sharon Olds.
List of Figures Foreword: ‘An Unsafe Subject’, Moniza Alvi, Acknowledgments 1: Introduction: Feminism without Borders: The Potentials and Pitfalls of Retheroizing Rape, Zoë Brigley Thompson and Sorcha Gunne Part I: Subverting the Story 2: Rape by Proxy in Contemporary Caribbean Women’s Fiction, Carine M. Mardorossian 3: Sabotaging the Language of Pride: Toni Morrison's Representations of Rape, Tessa Roynon 4: Revising Chicana Womanhood: Gender Violence in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Robin E. Field Part II: Resistance Metaphors 5: Between ‘Awra and Arab Feminism: Sexual Violence and Representational Crisis in Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero, Anna Ball 6: Writing Rape: The Politics of Resistance in Yvonne Vera’s Novels, Fiona McCann 7: Il/legitimacy: Sexual Violence, Mental Health, and Resisting Abjection in Camilla Gibb’s Mouthing the Words and Elizabeth Ruth’s Ten Good Seconds of Silence, Susan Billingham Part III: The Protest of Silence 8: Testimony and Silence: Sexual Violence and the Holocaust, Zoe Waxman 9: "Mum is the word": Gender Violence, Displacement and the Refugee Camp in Yasmin Ladha’s Documentary-Fiction, Belén Martín-Lucas 10: Double Violation? (Not) Talking about Sexual Violence in Contemporary South Asia, Ananya Jahanara Kabir 11: Questioning Truth and Reconciliation: Writing Rape in Achmat Dangor’s Bitter Fruit and Kagiso Lesego Molope’s Dancing in the Dust, Sorcha Gunne Part IV: The Question of the Visual 12: Signifying Rape: Problems of Representing Sexual Violence on Stage, Lisa Fitzpatrick 13: The Wound and the Mask: Rape, Recovery and Poetry in Pascale Petit’s The Wounded Deer: Fourteen Poems After Frida Kahlo, Zoë Brigley Thompson 14: Rape, Power, Realism and the Fantastic on Television, Lorna Jowett List of Contributors Index
Zoe Brigley is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Northampton. Sorcha Gunne is a tutor at the University of Warwick.