1st Edition

Women Writing Trauma in the Global South A Study of Aminatta Forna, Isabel Allende and Anuradha Roy

By Annemarie Pabel Copyright 2023
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    Through exploring complex suffering in the writings of Aminatta Forna, Isabel Allende and Anuradha Roy, Women Writing Trauma in the Global South dismantles conceptual shortcomings and problematic imbalances at the core of existing theorizations around psychological trauma. The global constellation of women writers from Sierra Leone, Chile and India facilitates a productive analysis of how the texts navigate intertwined experiences of individual and systemic trauma. The discussion departs from a recent critical turn in literary and cultural trauma studies and transgresses many interrelated boundaries of geocultural contexts, language and genre. Discovering the role of literary forms in reparative articulation and empathic witnessing, this critical intervention develops new ideas for an inclusive conceptual expansion of trauma from the global peripheries and contributes to the ongoing debate on marginalized suffering.

    Chapter One: Introduction - Concepts and Contexts of Psychological Wounding

    Canonical Cultural Trauma Theory and Emerging Critical Perspectives

    The Case for a Reconceptualization of Trauma

    Wound Narratives from the Global South


    Chapter Two: Aminatta Forna

    Fictional Representations of Traumatic Disintegration in The Memory of Love

    Prolonged and Insidious Trauma in The Devil that Danced on the Water

    Narrative Critique of the PTSD Category in Happiness

    Narrative Negotiations of a Context-specific Trauma Model

    Complicated Witnessing in The Devil that Danced on the Water

    1. Unempathic Gazing and Professional Witnessing in Happiness

    Post-traumatic Resilience in Happiness

    Chapter Three: Isabel Allende

    Writing during Trauma in Paula

    Fictional Representations of Childhood Trauma in Portrait in Sepia

    Inscriptions of Trauma in Landscape: Exile and Mental Dislocation

    Resurfacing Wounds in Storytelling

    Epistolary Narration in Articulating Bereavement

    Magical Realist Elements in Representing the Unspeakable

    Photography as a Testimonial Practice in Portrait in Sepia

    Narrating ‘Belonging’ in My Invented Country

    Chapter Four: Anuradha Roy

    Fictional Representations of Prolonged Childhood Violence

    Topographic and Architectural Manifestations of Traumatic Unhomeliness in An Atlas of Impossible Longing

    Familial Disintegration and Unhomeliness

    Self-Awareness and Transgression of Forms in Articulating Trauma

    Epistolary Elements and Narrative Authority


    Chapter Five Conclusion - Connecting Trauma Narratives in the Global South

    Inscriptions of Complex Wounds

    Towards Conceptual Inclusivity


    Annemarie Pabel is an independent researcher with a PhD in English literature. Her research interests include trauma studies and women’s writing.