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Acts of Narrative Resistance: Womens Autobiographical Writings in the Americas (review)

Acts of Narrative Resistance: Womens Autobiographical Writings in the Americas (review) 358 Biography 34.2 (Fall 2011) Laura J. Beard. Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women’s Autobiographical Writ- ings in the Americas. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2009. 199 pp. ISBN 978-0813928630, $21.50. Western feminist theory has long taught us the personal is political and that autobiographical narration of the self can empower women and question dominant, male-centered ideologies of identity. The collective import of a personal life story exists through this empowerment, and fi ctive elements can highlight an autobiography’s usefulness as political tool by making it both in- timate and more than a personal story. In Acts of Narrative Resistance, Laura J. Beard examines fi ctionalized autobiographical genres “created at the nexus of political discourse and artistic practice” (1). Storytelling comes to be of partic- ular signifi cance at this political and artistic nexus as Beard’s study progress- es from Latin American texts focusing on the construction of self, to Latin American family sagas that construct the nation, to Native American testimo- nios from Canada. In the fi nal chapter, Beard quotes a Native American critic to point out that Indigenous traditions use storytelling, rather than exposi- tion, to explain ideas. Thus, the author links texts that fi ctionalize autobiog- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Acts of Narrative Resistance: Womens Autobiographical Writings in the Americas (review)

Biography , Volume 34 (2) – Nov 23, 2011

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Biographical Research Center
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

358 Biography 34.2 (Fall 2011) Laura J. Beard. Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women’s Autobiographical Writ- ings in the Americas. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2009. 199 pp. ISBN 978-0813928630, $21.50. Western feminist theory has long taught us the personal is political and that autobiographical narration of the self can empower women and question dominant, male-centered ideologies of identity. The collective import of a personal life story exists through this empowerment, and fi ctive elements can highlight an autobiography’s usefulness as political tool by making it both in- timate and more than a personal story. In Acts of Narrative Resistance, Laura J. Beard examines fi ctionalized autobiographical genres “created at the nexus of political discourse and artistic practice” (1). Storytelling comes to be of partic- ular signifi cance at this political and artistic nexus as Beard’s study progress- es from Latin American texts focusing on the construction of self, to Latin American family sagas that construct the nation, to Native American testimo- nios from Canada. In the fi nal chapter, Beard quotes a Native American critic to point out that Indigenous traditions use storytelling, rather than exposi- tion, to explain ideas. Thus, the author links texts that fi ctionalize autobiog-

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 23, 2011

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