Intergenerational Storytelling and Transhistorical Trauma: Old Women in Contemporary Canadian Fiction

The Atrium, University of Guelph Institutional Repository

Intergenerational Storytelling and Transhistorical Trauma: Old Women in Contemporary Canadian Fiction

Show full item record

Title: Intergenerational Storytelling and Transhistorical Trauma: Old Women in Contemporary Canadian Fiction
Author: Salter, Jodie
Department: School of English and Theatre Studies
Program: English
Advisor: Cairnie, Julie
Abstract: Intergenerational Storytelling and Transhistorical Trauma: Old Women in Contemporary Canadian Fiction examines fictional representations of intergenerational storytelling exchanges between old diasporic women and younger characters. Focusing on three Japanese Canadian novels and two Trinidadian Canadian novels, written post-1970s, I examine the intergenerational tensions between telling personal and collective traumas of the past and maintaining silences within the family. Hiromi Goto’s Chorus of Mushrooms, Joy Kogawa’s Obasan, Darcy Tamayose’s Odori, Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night, and David Chariandy’s Soucouyant provide multiple generational and cultural optics through which to address how the past continues to reside within and inform the present moment, and thus impact one’s subjectivity and sense of belonging or dislocation. These novels characterize old racialized women in Canada as complex figures who disrupt assumptions about memory and madness, and their storytelling engagements highlight the impact of difference, of temporality, and of intergenerational transmissions. This study analyzes different narrative structures and strategies that emulate the symptoms of traumatic “belatedness” and provide readers with an understanding of “reciprocal storytelling” as a means of “bearing witness” to personal and transhistorical trauma. Drawing together work in literary trauma studies with narrative theory, I investigate the challenges and implications of articulating different types of trauma within the literary genre of the novel, and I argue these old women’s stories contribute important age and cultural perspectives to theories in social and critical aging and trauma studies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3950
Date: 2012-09-07


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
JSalter PhD Final Thesis Submission.pdf 1.482Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/

Search the Atrium


Advanced Search

Browse

My Account