2nd Edition


ISBN 9780415572149
Published January 10, 2011 by Routledge
166 Pages

USD $31.95

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Book Description

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

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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).