Academic journal article Papers on Language & Literature

New Paradigms in Francophone Literature and Redefining Francophone Women Writers

Academic journal article Papers on Language & Literature

New Paradigms in Francophone Literature and Redefining Francophone Women Writers

Article excerpt

Touya de Marenne, Eric. Francophone Women Writers: Feminisms, Postcolonialisms, Cross-Cultures. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011. 194 pages. Hardcover $80.00.

This anthology ambitiously brings together texts by francophone women writers from throughout the francophone world (North and West Africa, the Near East, the Pacific, North America, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe). Underscoring the unique reflection of francophone women writers on issues pertaining to power relations, concepts of identity, gender inequality, and the rapport with the "other," Touya de Marenne investigates in what manner these writers have "challenged, through their work, key tenets of literary history and criticism" and dramatically transformed "the way we look at and understand literature from a political, anthropological, and cultural perspective." (1) The "Preface," by Maryse Conde, underscores the question that situates the texts of the chosen authors within the framework of this volume: "Why aren't their voices more clearly heard"? (ix) Rather than divided by geographical locations, each of the five chapters offers a critical analysis of the individual authors in the context of Touya de Marenne's argument: one of literary and critical remapping. He notes, "While asserting through counter-discourse their own new form of literary authority, they have not only redefined canon formation, but also have redrawn epistemological, political, and cultural landscapes." (1)

Touya de Marenne provides a short introduction to respective authors, a brief excerpt of a selected work (translated into English), and a bibliography for further reading in each chapter. Chapter 1, "Feminisms: Resistance and Heteroglossia," explores female resistance to masculine domination and the struggle of women against subjugation in the works of Mariama Ba, Nina Bouraoui, Joyce Mansour, Amelie Nothomb, and Anne Hebert. …

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