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Making Home: Orphanhood, kinship, and cultural memory in contemporary American novels
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies. (Kulturvetenskapliga forskningsmiljön (KUFO))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7640-0639
Södertörns högskola.
Uppsala universitet.
2014 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Making Home explores the orphan child as a trope in contemporary US fiction, arguing that in the times of perceived national crisis concerns about American identity, family, and literary history are articulated around this literary figure. 

Making Home moves scholarship on literary orphans in new directions. It focuses on orphan figures in a broad, multi-ethnic range of contemporary fiction by Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Cunningham, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Toni Morrison. It also investigates genres as carriers of cultural memory, looking particularly at the captivity narrative, historical fiction, speculative fiction, the sentimental novel, and the bildungsroman. From a decisively literaryperspective, Making Home engages socio-political concerns such as mixed-race families, child welfare, and racial and national identity, as well as shifting definitions of familial, national, and literary home. By analyzing how contemporary novels both incorporate and resist gendered and raced literary conventions, how they elaborate on symbolic and factual meanings of orphanhood, and how they explore kinship beyond the nuclear and/or adoptive family, this book offers something distinctly new in American literary studies. It is a crucial study for students and scholars interested in the links between literature and identity, questions of inclusion and exclusion in national ideology, and definitions of family and childhood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014. , p. 254
Series
Contemporary American and Canadian Writers
Keyword [en]
orphans, American fiction, kinship, cultural memory, gender, Native American novels, African American novels, Euro-American novels, genre, bildungsroman, captivity narrative, historical novel, speculative fiction, sentimental novel
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33240ISBN: 9780719089596 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-33240DiVA, id: diva2:733851
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2008-1285
Available from: 2014-07-11 Created: 2014-07-11 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Holmgren Troy, Maria

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