Writing Life, Writing History: Italian-American Women and the Memoir

Carol Bonomo Jennngs and Christine Palamidessi Moore

in American Woman, Italian Style

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231751
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241286 | DOI:
Writing Life, Writing History: Italian-American Women and the Memoir

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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Appropriating memory is a crucial step for all those groups that have been marginalized and denied access to public forums because of their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, sexuality, or class. Challenging conceptions of the life of the individual as an isolated entity, the memoir provides a forum for accounts of untold histories of disenfranchised cultures and communities. Autobiographical fiction and poetry, personal essays, documentaries, and book-length memoirs indicate that, like other members of minority groups, these writers are intent on creating personal narratives that explore and question the relationship between individual and community. A self-awareness of the ways in which women have been denied use of their voices underlies the memoirs of Italian-American women. What underscores this vast project of ethnic recovery is a political, feminist consciousness and an insistence on the transformative and redemptive power of writing.

Keywords: memory; memoir; poetry; autobiographical fiction; minority groups; feminist consciousness; writing; Italian-American women

Chapter.  3035 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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