Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives
With the memoir boom, life storytelling has become ubiquitous and emerged as a distinct field of study. Reading Autobiography, originally published in 2001, was the first comprehensive critical introduction to life writing in all its forms. Widely adopted for undergraduate and graduate-level courses, it is an essential guide for students and scholars reading and interpreting autobiographical texts and methods across the humanities, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. Thoroughly updated, the second edition of Reading Autobiography is the most complete assessment of life narrative in its myriad forms. It lays out a sophisticated, theoretical approach to life writing and the components of autobiographical acts, including memory, experience, identity, embodiment, space, and agency. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson explore these components, review the history of life writing and the foundations of autobiographical subjectivity, and provide a toolkit for working with twenty-three key concepts. Their survey of innovative forms of life writing, such as autographics and installation self-portraiture, charts recent shifts in autobiographical practice. Especially useful for courses are the appendices: a glossary covering dozens of distinct genres of life writing, proposals for group and classroom projects, and an extensive bibliography.
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Definitions and Distinctions
2 Auto biographical Subjects
3 Auto biographical Acts
4 Life Narrative in Historical Perspective
5 In the Wake of the Memoir Boom
6 The VisualVerbalVirtual Contexts of Life Narrative
Expanding Autobiography Studies
Other editions - View all
African American American Angela’s Ashes archives argues artist audience auto autobio autobiographical autobiographical acts autobiographical narrative autobiographical subject autobiographical writing autoethnography become bildungsroman biography body captivity narrative century collective colonial concept Confessions contemporary contexts Couser critical critique cultural dialogue diary discourse Edited embodiment engage essay ethical everyday example experience explore feminist fiction film forms Fun Home gender genre graphical identity ideological indigenous Australians individual J. M. Coetzee John Eakin language Lejeune literary lives memoir memory modes multiple narrator narrator’s Native American norms novel oflife writing ofthe one’s particular past political postcolonial practices rative readers reading relationship remembering Rigoberta Menchú Roland Barthes scholars self-narrating self-representation sexual shift slave narratives social Soft Weapons space storytelling struggle studies suggests tell theorists theorizing tion tive Translated trauma truth University Press visual voice Wanda Koolmatrie witness women York