Catalogue


The voice of the mother [electronic resource] : embedded maternal narratives in twentieth-century women's autobiographies /
Jo Malin.
imprint
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.
description
x, 120 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0809322668 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.
isbn
0809322668 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8531223
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-114) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jo Malin is an administrator in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Malin offers theoretical and textual analyses of ten 20th-century women autobiographers, among them Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, and Audre Lord. These authors are engaged in "conversations" about four topics--space and houses; intimacy, bodies and sexuality; material things; story telling and voice. Malin argues that women autobiographers often include an embedded maternal narrative, which is the autobiographer's mother's narrative. This leads to a new style, one that breaks down subject/object categories of the genre because these authors abandon men's typical authoritative and monologic voice. The author builds on two decades of psychological and autobiographical theory: for example, the work of Nancy Chodorow--who revised Freud's theory of female development, making it positive and relational, while rejecting men's goal of autonomy--and of Sidonie Smith, whose A Poetics of Women's Autobiography (CH, Jun'88) emphasized the marginality of women as autobiographers. This is a challenging and engaging study. Malin's style of scholarship includes the integration of her own subjective experiences and viewpoints into her analyses. There is a useful index and list of works consulted. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. S. A. Parker; Hiram College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"There is a ‘heart' toThe Voice of the Motherthat gives it pace and momentum both steady and strong. . . . I find the primary texts chosen the most compelling aspect of the project as a whole. The critical voices that converse in the secondary sources seem just right. And Malin's own voice resonating regularly works well."--Fran Bartkowski, author ofFeminist Utopias and Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates: Essays in Estrangement
"There is a ‘heart' to The Voice of the Mother that gives it pace and momentum both steady and strong. . . . I find the primary texts chosen the most compelling aspect of the project as a whole. The critical voices that converse in the secondary sources seem just right. And Malin's own voice resonating regularly works well."-- Fran Bartkowski , author of Feminist Utopias and Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates: Essays in Estrangement
"There is a 'heart' toThe Voice of the Motherthat gives it pace and momentum both steady and strong. . . . I find the primary texts chosen the most compelling aspect of the project as a whole. The critical voices that converse in the secondary sources seem just right. And Malin's own voice resonating regularly works well."Fran Bartkowski, author ofFeminist Utopias and Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates: Essays in Estrangement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Every woman autobiographer is a daughter who writes and establishes her identity through her autobiographical narrative. In The Voice of the Mother, Jo Malin argues that many twentieth-century autobiographies by women contain an intertext, an embedded narrative, which is a biography of the writer/daughter's mother.Analyzing this narrative practice, Malin examines ten texts by women who seem particularly compelled to tell their mothers' stories: Virginia Woolf, Sara Suleri, Kim Chernin, Drusilla Modjeska, Joan Nestle, Carolyn Steedman, Dorothy Allison, Adrienne Rich, Cherrie Moraga, and Audre Lorde. Each author is, in fact, able to write her own autobiography only by using a narrative form that contains her mother's story at its core. These texts raise interesting questions about autobiography as a genre and about a feminist writing practice that resists and subverts the dominant literary tradition.Malin theorizes a hybrid form of autobiographical narrative containing an embedded narrative of the mother. The textual relationship between the two narratives is unique among texts in the auto/biographical canon. This alternative practice -- in which the daughter attempts to talk both to her mother and about her -- is equally an autobiography and a biography rather than one or the other. The technique is marked by a breakdown of subject/object categories as well as auto/biographical dichotomies of genre. Each text contains a "self" that is more plural than singular, yet neither.In addition to being a theoretical and textual analysis, Malin's book is also a mother-daughter autobiography and biography itself. She shares her own story and her mother's story as a way to connect directlywith readers and as a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Main Description
Every woman autobiographer is a daughter who writes and establishes her identity through her autobiographical narrative. InThe Voice of the Mother, Jo Malin argues that many twentieth-century autobiographies by women contain an intertext, an embedded narrative, which is a biography of the writer/daughter's mother. Analyzing this narrative practice, Malin examines ten texts by women who seem particularly compelled to tell their mothers' stories: Virginia Woolf, Sara Suleri, Kim Chernin, Drusilla Modjeska, Joan Nestle, Carolyn Steedman, Dorothy Allison, Adrienne Rich, Cherrie Moraga, and Audre Lorde. Each author is, in fact, able to write her own autobiography only by using a narrative form that contains her mother's story at its core. These texts raise interesting questions about autobiography as a genre and about a feminist writing practice that resists and subverts the dominant literary tradition. Malin theorizes a hybrid form of autobiographical narrative containing an embedded narrative of the mother. The textual relationship between the two narratives is unique among texts in the auto/biographical canon. This alternative narrative practice--in which the daughter attempts to talk both to her mother and about her--is equally an autobiography and a biography rather than one or the other. The technique is marked by a breakdown of subject/object categories as well as auto/biographical dichotomies of genre. Each text contains a "self" that is more plural than singular, yet neither. In addition to being a theoretical and textual analysis, Malin's book is also a mother-daughter autobiography and biography itself. She shares her own story and her mother's story as a way to connect directly with readers and as a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Main Description
Every woman autobiographer is a daughter who writes and establishes her identity through her autobiographical narrative. InThe Voice of the Mother, Jo Malin argues that many twentieth-century autobiographies by women contain an intertext, an embedded narrative, which is a biography of the writer/daughter's mother. Analyzing this narrative practice, Malin examines ten texts by women who seem particularly compelled to tell their mothers' stories: Virginia Woolf, Sara Suleri, Kim Chernin, Drusilla Modjeska, Joan Nestle, Carolyn Steedman, Dorothy Allison, Adrienne Rich, Cherrie Moraga, and Audre Lorde. Each author is, in fact, able to write her own autobiography only by using a narrative form that contains her mother's story at its core. These texts raise interesting questions about autobiography as a genre and about a feminist writing practice that resists and subverts the dominant literary tradition. Malin theorizes a hybrid form of autobiographical narrative containing an embedded narrative of the mother. The textual relationship between the two narratives is unique among texts in the auto/biographical canon. This alternative narrative practicein which the daughter attempts to talk both to her mother and about heris equally an autobiography and a biography rather than one or the other. The technique is marked by a breakdown of subject/object categories as well as auto/biographical dichotomies of genre. Each text contains a "self" that is more plural than singular, yet neither. In addition to being a theoretical and textual analysis, Malin's book is also a mother-daughter autobiography and biography itself. She shares her own story and her mother's story as a way to connect directly with readers and as a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Main Description
Every woman autobiographer is a daughter who writes and establishes her identity through her autobiographical narrative. In The Voice of the Mother , Jo Malin argues that many twentieth-century autobiographies by women contain an intertext, an embedded narrative, which is a biography of the writer/daughter's mother. Analyzing this narrative practice, Malin examines ten texts by women who seem particularly compelled to tell their mothers' stories: Virginia Woolf, Sara Suleri, Kim Chernin, Drusilla Modjeska, Joan Nestle, Carolyn Steedman, Dorothy Allison, Adrienne Rich, Cherrie Moraga, and Audre Lorde. Each author is, in fact, able to write her own autobiography only by using a narrative form that contains her mother's story at its core. These texts raise interesting questions about autobiography as a genre and about a feminist writing practice that resists and subverts the dominant literary tradition. Malin theorizes a hybrid form of autobiographical narrative containing an embedded narrative of the mother. The textual relationship between the two narratives is unique among texts in the auto/biographical canon. This alternative narrative practice--in which the daughter attempts to talk both to her mother and about her--is equally an autobiography and a biography rather than one or the other. The technique is marked by a breakdown of subject/object categories as well as auto/biographical dichotomies of genre. Each text contains a "self" that is more plural than singular, yet neither. In addition to being a theoretical and textual analysis, Malin's book is also a mother-daughter autobiography and biography itself. She shares her own story and her mother's story as a way to connect directly with readers and as a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Conversations about Space and Housesp. 15
Conversations about Intimacy, Bodies, and Sexualityp. 35
Conversations about Material Things, Longing, and Envyp. 56
Conversations about Storytelling and Voicep. 70
Afterwordp. 89
Coda: Babies and Books: Motherhood and Writingp. 91
Epiloguep. 100
Notesp. 103
Works Consultedp. 107
Indexp. 115
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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