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39 - Contemporary Women’s Writing in French

from Part V - Fictions of the Fifth Republic: From de Gaulle to the Internet Age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2021

Adam Watt
Affiliation:
University of Exeter
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Summary

This chapter considers the contemporary novel in French within the context of the broadly defined field of women’s writing, a diverse, engaged and vibrant space where innovative literary forms are mobilised in ways that continue to stretch the possibilities and meanings of female experience. Exploring an array of texts by award-winning, bestselling and emerging novelists, the chapter discusses three key thematic areas. In the first part, it considers the intimacy long associated with women’s writing, showing how recent novels have tended to move beyond the tropes of sentimental romance, imagining instead a distinct, female-focused erotics, or otherwise engaging themes of love with wider, philosophical and political concerns. In the second part, the chapter looks at representations of the family, focusing on the turbulent, transformative times of adolescence, on perspectives on mothering, and on new patterns of kinship, that create new dialogues surrounding the cultural ideals and social pressures embroiled within the family in twenty-first-century France. In the final section, the chapter draws attention to the intersectional conversations in recent women’s writing in French between feminist concerns, the representation of queer and trans subjectivities, social inequalities, immigration and race relations.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Further Reading

Allison, Maggie and Angela, Kershaw (eds.), Parcours de Femmes: Twenty Years of Women in French (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atack, Margaret, Diana, Holmes, Diana, Knight and Judith, Still (eds.), Women, Genre and Circumstance: Essays in Memory of Elizabeth Fallaize (Oxford: Legenda, 2012)Google Scholar
Damlé, Amaleena, The Becoming of the Body: Contemporary Women’s Writing in French (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Damlé, Amaleena, and Rye, Gill, Women’s Writing in Twenty-First-Century France: Life as Literature (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2013)Google Scholar
Jordan, Shirley Ann, Contemporary Women’s Writing in French: Women’s Visions, Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives (Bern: Peter Lang, 2004)Google Scholar
Jordan, Shirley Ann, Private Lives, Public Display: Intimacy and Excess in French Women’s Self-Narrative (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2019)Google Scholar
Morello, Nathalie, and Rodgers, Catherine (eds.), Nouvelles écrivaines: nouvelles voix? (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004)Google Scholar
Rye, GillNarratives of Mothering: Women’s Writing in Contemporary France (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2009)Google Scholar
Rye, Gill, and Worton, Michael (eds.), Women’s Writing in Contemporary France: New Writers, New Literatures (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002)Google Scholar
Stephens, Sonya (ed.), A History of Women’s Writing in France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Touya de Marenne, Éric (ed.), Francophone Women Writers: Feminisms, Postcolonialisms, Cross-Cultures (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011)Google Scholar

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