Exploring the connections between autobiography and postmodernism, this book addresses self-representation in a variety of literature—Native American, British, Chicana, immigrant, and lesbian, among others—in genres as diverse as poetry, naming, and confession, photography, and the manifesto. The essays examine how different writers respond to the culturally specific pressures of genre, how these constraints are negotiated, and what self-representation reveals about the politics of identity.
In contrast to those critics of postmodernism who fear the dissolution of the active subject, the contributors here demonstrate that autobiography gives postmodernism a discourse through which to theorize human agency. The autobiographical subject that emerges is not the decentered human agent of so many versions of postmodernism but the producer of texts that call attention to the contradictions in dominant modes of self-representation and demonstrate the possibilities of writing from from other locations.
Contributors are Betty Bergland, Andrei Codrescu, Michael M. J. Fischer, Leigh Gilmore, David P. Haney, Paul Jay, Shirley Neuman, Christopher Ortiz, Sidonie Smith, Kirsten Wasson, and Hertha D. Wong.