Canadian incest autobiography

Williams, Jocelyn (2003) Canadian incest autobiography. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Incest autobiography is a distinct form of trauma writing. Although the sub-genre began more than two decades ago, it remains largely unexamined. Canadian writers’ substantial contribution to incest autobiography, in particular, is not well recognized. Four of the Canadian incest autobiographers, Charlotte Vale Allen, Sylvia Fraser, Elly Danica, and Janice Williamson have written specifically about father-daughter incest. Their books, Daddy’s Girl (1980), My Father’s House (1987), Don’t (1988), and Crybaby! (1998), because they are similar in focus but different in style, demonstrate the many ways to write autobiographically about incest. They validate incest victims’ experience while demonstrating that incest trauma is not monolithic. They are also shocking. Despite the media’s continuous exposure of incest victimization, most people will not feel a sense of complacency or familiarity with the presentation of incest in the autobiographies. Because of the very intimate autobiographical voice and the steady focus on incest, the books elicit an empathetic response. Readers become the witnesses to the incestuous abuse. Allen Fraser, Danica, and Williamson have encouraged an engaged reading of their books. They have also extended the parameters of contemporary Canadian women’s writing, autobiographical writing, and writing about sexual violence against children and women. The now well developed sub-genre of incest autobiography is in a position to make a substantial social and literary impact.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7098
Item ID: 7098
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 264-281.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Incest victims--Canada; Incest in literature

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