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Shattered Subjects Trauma and Testimony in Women's Life-Writing

by Suzette A. Henke

  • ISBN: 9780312210205
  • ISBN10: 0312210205

Shattered Subjects Trauma and Testimony in Women's Life-Writing

by Suzette A. Henke

  • List Price: $79.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publish date: 09/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780312210205
  • ISBN10: 0312210205
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Description: Judith Herman has noted that "the most common post-traumatic disorders are those not of men in war but of women in civilian life". How have women survived, both individually and collectively, in the face of unimaginable trauma? In this important new book, Suzette Henke finds evidence that women often use writing in order to heal the wounds of psychological trauma. She terms this method "scriptotherapy", the process of writing out and writing through traumatic experience in the mode of therapeutic re-enactment. Shattered Subjects explores the autobiographical writings of six twentieth-century women authors who experienced life-shattering trauma and used their writings as a means for survival and healing. The literary testimonies of Colette, Hilda Doolittle, Anais Nin, Janet Frame, Audre Lorde, and Sylvia Fraser provide startling evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder predpitated by rape, incest, childhood sexual abuse, grief, unwanted pregnancy, pregnancy-loss, or a severe illness that threatens the integrity of the body. Henke examines the compelling works evinced by these experiences for their patterns of similarity as well as their uniqueness and analyzes traumatic narrative as the focal point of a large body of autobiographical practice representing the genre of narrative recovery. Shattered Subjects suggests that the powerful medium of written autobiographical testimony may allow the resolution or reconfiguration of the most emotionally distressing experiences.
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