Taking an innovative approach, Jane Winston's Postcolonial Duras radically revises our understanding of both Duras and a crucial swath of French cultural and literary history by studying each one through the lens of the other. This is the first book to read Duras's work in relation to the broad historical contexts excluded from our analytic optics since the 1950s - colonial education and propaganda, the postwar left-wing political radicalization of intellectuals and their challenge to the French cultural subject, and the anti-racist writings of African-American Richard Wright - as well as in relation to the fin de siecle work of Vietnamese diasporic artists Tran Anh Hung and Linda Le. Rewriting Duras into this broad historical context, Postcolonial Duras establishes Wright's central role in the postwar French literary field and Duras's crucial intermediary place between the French literary and cultural fields and their Francophone successors.
Around them rises up an account of postwar France locked in the struggle for its cultural memory, as representational tools deployed in the conservative 1950s still seek to maintain their exclusions, while the ongoing displacement of peoples from the former colonies continues to transform its cultural and literary fabrics. Required reading for students and scholars of Duras, this book will interest specialists in the fields of contemporary French and Francophone literary and cultural studies, Diaspora Studies, African American literary studies, postcolonial and transnational studies, comparative literary studies, feminist theory, and gender studies.
Publisher: St Martin's Press