Women Writing Trauma in the Global South : A Study of Aminatta Forna, Isabel Allende and Anuradha Roy book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781032211176
Published September 8, 2022 by Routledge
180 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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