1st Edition

Trauma, Gender and Ethics in the Works of E.L. Doctorow

By María Ferrández San Miguel Copyright 2020
    218 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This project approaches four of E. L. Doctorow’s novels—Welcome to Hard Times (1960), The Book of Daniel (1971), Ragtime (1975), and City of God (2000)—from the perspectives of feminist criticism and trauma theory. The study springs from the assumption that Doctorow’s literary project is eminently ethical and has an underlying social and political scope. This crops up through the novels’ overriding concern with injustice and their engagement with the representation of human suffering in a variety of forms. The book puts forward the claim that E.L. Doctorow’s literary project—through its representation of psychological trauma and its attitude towards gender—may be understood as a call to action against both each individual’s indifference and the wider social and political structures and ideologies that justify and/or facilitate the injustices and oppression to which those who are situated at the margins of contemporary US society are subjected.


    Chapter 1. Welcome to Hard Times; the Frontier Reconsidered

    Shame, Guilt, Violence and Trauma

    In Search for a New Gender Order

    Discussion and Conclusion

    Chapter 2. The Book of Daniel; a Memoir Gone Awry

    The Trauma of a Grievous Past

    Gender Oppression and/as Power

    Discussion and Conclusion

    Chapter 3. Ragtime; Remembering the Future

    Trauma and Resilience

    The Politics of Gender

    Discussion and Conclusion

    Chapter 4. City of God; with Eyes Past All Grief

    Fictionalizing the Holocaust

    Voicing Gender

    Discussion and Conclusion

    Chapter 5. Discussion; the Ethics and Politics of Literature



    María Ferrández San Miguel is a lecturer at the Department of English and German Studies (University of Zaragoza). Her work has been published in journals such as Atlantis, The Nordic Journal of English Studies and Orbis Litterarum, and in volumes such as Memory Frictions: Conflict, Negotiation, Politics (Palgrave MacMillan).