Annual Bibliography of Works about Life Writing, 2009-2010

Article excerpt

A self develops, becomes integrated,, and recognizable to the degree that one becomes aware that she/he consistently experiences and interacts with-in the world in her or his particular ways.

--Milton Dawes

Trying to identify oneself definitively by teasing apart all of the deeply intertwined relations between self and other--to fix one's true self--may be in vain, because one's self changes through experience and one need only be in touch with one's present state.

--Roxanne J. Fand


Abbott, Josie M.. The Angel in the Office: The Life and Work of the Office Secretary. Auto/Biography Study Group Monograph 1. Oxford: British Sociological Association, 2010. Explores the lifestyle and experiences of the female office worker from her first, marginal appearance in the 1870s to her troubled but firm establishment by 1900.

Adams, Gretchen A. The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010. Shows how collective memorializing of the witch trials represented real or imagined threats to American society from the Revolution through the 1800s.

Aplin, John. The Inheritance of Genius: A Thackeray Family Biography, 1798-1875. Cambridge: Lutterworth, 2010. Prosopography of the Thackeray family uses letters, journals, notebooks, and diaries to focus on Thackeray's relations with his mother, wife, and daughters.

Armitage, Sue, and Laurie Mercer. Speaking History: Oral Histories of the American Past, 1865--Present. New York: Palgrave, 2010. Contextualized oral histories, organized chronologically around broad themes in US history, show how oral histories link individual experiences to larger historical narratives.

Atkinson, Juliette. Victorian Biography Reconsidered: A Study of Nineteenth-Century 'Hidden' Lives. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Shows how nineteenth-century biographers challenged the "Great Men" biographical tradition to include the lives of neglected or unknown men and women.

Bass, Amy. Those About Him Remained Silent: The Battle overW. E. B. Du Bois. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2009. Tracks the conflicts over the meaning and legacy of Du Bois's life.

Baumel-Schwartz, Judith Tydor. Perfect Heroes: The World War II Parachutists and the Making of Israeli Collective Memory. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 2010. Analyzes how segments of Israeli society constructed nationalist narratives around Jewish volunteers from Palestine who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Beard, Laura J. Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women's Autobiographical Writings in the Americas. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2010. Paired readings of works by Helena Parente Cunha and Luisa Futoransky, Ana Maria Shua and Nelida Pinon, and Lee Maracle and Shirley Sterling reveal genres of resistance.

Bergstein, Mary. Mirrors of Memory: Freud, Photography and the History of Art. 114 illus. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2010. Explores how photographs helped Freud elaborate the concepts of psychoanalysis.

Berman, Jefffrey. Companionship in Grief: Love and Loss in the Memoirs of C. S. Lewis, John Bayley, Donald Hall, Joan Didion, and Calvin Trillin. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2010. Highlights variations on themes of love and loss related to the death of a spouse.

Berson, Seemah C. I Have a Story to Tell You. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2010. Recreates from interviews the life stories of thirty-seven early twentieth century Eastern European Jewish immigrants to Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

Bevington, David. Shakespeare and Biography. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Chronicles developments in Shakespeare biographies from the early 1700s to the present.

Bona, Mary Jo. By the Breath of Their Mouths: Narrative Resistance in Italian America. Albany: SUNY P, 2010. Examines the uses of oral language for liberation and generational transmission in Italian American oral biographies, memoirs, fiction, and poetry. …