1st Edition

Essays in Life Writing

Edited By Kylie Cardell Copyright 2022
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book showcases a unique, innovative form for contemporary life narrative scholarship. Life Narrative is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field defined through attention to diverse styles of personal and auto/biographical narration and to subjectivity and ethics in acts of self-representation. The essay is a uniquely sympathetic mode for such scholarship, responsive to diverse methods, genres, and concepts and enabling a flexible, hybrid critical and creative approach. Many of the essays curated for this volume are by the authors of creative works of life writing who are seeking to reflect critically on disciplinary issues connected to practice, ethics, audience, or genre. Others show academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds engaged in creative critical self-reflection, using methods of cultural analysis, ethnography, or embodied scholarship to address foundational and emerging issues and concepts in relation to identity, experience, or subjectivity.

    Essays in Life Writing positions the essay as a unique nexus of creative and critical practice, available to academics publishing peer-reviewed scholarly work from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, and a form of scholarship that is contributing in exciting and vigorous ways to the development of new knowledge in Life Narrative as a field.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Life Writing.


    Kylie Cardell

    1. Writing (from) the Rubble: Reflections on the August 4, 2020 Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

    Sleiman El Hajj

    2. Will the Real Subject Please Stand Up? Autobiographical Voices in Biography

    Karen Lamb

    3. Speculative Biography and Countering Archival Absences of Women Clowns in the Circus

    Katerina Bryant

    4. ‘A Man of Violent and Ungovernable Temper’: Can Fiction Fill Silences in the Archives?

    Katherine E Collins

    5. Killing the Silent Witness: The Benefits of an Authorial Stance as Interpreter in Future- focused Natural Biography

    Sarah Pye

    6. How to be a Fan in the Age of Problematic Faves

    Matt Bucher and Grace Chipperfield

    7. Letter Writing and Space for Women’s Self- expression in Janet Frame’s Owls Do Cry and Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table

    Hannah Matthews

    8. In Parallel With My Actual Diary: On Re- writing an Exile

    Chris Campanioni

    9. Metaphor and Neonatal Death: How Stories Can Help When a Baby Dies at Birth

    Tamarin Norwood

    10. Three Wheels on My Wagon: An Account of an Attempt to Use Life Writing to Access Shared Family Narratives After Bereavement 

    Jane Hughes

    11. Becoming a Traitor

    Linus Hagström

    12. My Obscure Career as an Aspiring Poet

    Eugene Stelzig

    13. Archive of the (Mostly) Unspoken: A Queer Project of Caring for the Dead

    Margot Francis


    Kylie Cardell is Senior Lecturer in English at Flinders University, South Australia. She is the author of Dear World: Contemporary Uses of the Diary, and editor (with Kate Douglas) of Telling Tales: Autobiographies of Childhood and Youth. Kylie is executive member for the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) Asia-Pacific and co-directs the Flinders Life Narrative Research Group (Flinders University). She is the Essays editor for the scholarly Australian journal Life Writing.