The Body Besieged: The Embodiment of Historical Memory in Nina Bouraoui and Leila Sebbar - After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France (Hardback)Helen Vassallo (author)
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 180
Weight: 426 g
Dimensions: 234 x 163 x 18 mm
Fifty years on from France's multiply traumatic war of decolonization in Algeria, the fragmented memories and fractured identities generated by that conflict continue to exert a powerful influence on the lived reality of individuals and communities on both sides of the Mediterranean. As recent events in Toulouse have all too tragically illustrated, the personally embodied wounds of an unresolved colonial past still haunt contemporary Franco-Algerian relationships and mindsets. In this incisive new study, Helen Vassallo guides us insightfully and incisively through this contested political and cultural terrain. Her sensitive interrogation of the autobiographical writings of Nina Bouraoui and Leila Sebbar thus charts a much-needed passage through the Franco-Algerian memorial labyrinth, revealing how individually embodied difference may offer an antidote to collective amnesia, and how new forms of self-knowledge may provide a solution to the communal displacements of the past. This new book is therefore as timely as it is necessary. It deserves to be widely read and is likely to be much discussed. -- Philip Dine, National University of Ireland, Galway and author of Images of the Algerian War: French Fiction and Film, 1954-1992
The Body Besieged represents a timely study of the works of two key Franco-Algerian women writers. Analyzing the textual embodiment of historical and autobiographical memory in their writings, Helen Vassallo produces a series of new and fruitful readings. -- Siobhan McIlvanney, King's College, London
Helen Vassallo provides us with a fascinating comparative analysis of two contemporary Franco-Algerian women writers, in an innovative and rich, yet very accessible and readable, study of a number of their recent autobiographical writings. The book covers an impressive range of topics-from the lived experience of exile and ethnicity to the role of language and the creative possibilities of writing-at the heart of which lie memory and identity, and the still difficult legacy of Franco-Algerian relations. In the current climate of strained ethnic relations in France and social and political change in North Africa, this is a very topical, important and interesting work to read, which should be of interest to a wide audience. -- Jo McCormack, University of Sunderland, UK
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