Autobiography: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover


2nd Edition

By Linda Anderson


166 pages

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pub: 2010-11-26
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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.

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

About the Author/Editor

Linda Anderson is Professor of Modern English and American Literature at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Her recent publications include Women and Autobiography in the Twentieth Century (1997), Women's Lives/Women's Times (edited with Trev Broughton, 1996) and Territories of Desire in Queer Culture (edited with David Alderson, 2000).

About the Series

The New Critical Idiom

The New Critical Idiom is an invaluable series of introductory guides designed to meet the needs of today's students grappling with the complexities of modern critical terminology. Each book in the series provides:

  • A clear, explanatory guide to the use (and abuse) of the term
  • An original and distinctive overview by a leading literary and cultural critic
  • Helpful definitions of the boundaries between the literary and non-literary
  • Basic guidance for the introductory reader in how the term relates to the larger field of cultural representation

With a strong emphasis on clarity, lively debate and the widest possible breadth of examples, The New Critical Idiom is an indispensable guide to key topics in literary studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory