Consuming Passions: Reconciliation in Women’s Intellectual Memoir

Gillian WhitlockThe University of Queensland
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Spring 2004), 13-28

This article examines the contemporary popularity of the memoir genre in specified sociopolitical contexts, in this instance, the context of contact zones produced by settler colonialism in Canada, Australia, and South Africa. The essay looks at three intellectual autobiographies—Helen Hoy’s How Should I Read These?, Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull, and Inga Clendinnen’s Tiger’s Eye—to examine their cross-national connections through the circuitries of feminist and postcolonial scholarship. While the essay argues that dialogic forms of autobiographical narrative made popular by recent styles of feminist scholarship result in expressions of reconciliation and apology, the argument also cautions that feminist intellectual autobiography, engaged as it is with questions about the ethical practice of cross-cultural writing, may reduce subaltern testimony of trauma to commodity.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]