Jewish Women’s Memoirs: Trauma, Ghetto and the Complexities of Identity
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In the spring of 2015, I designed my own independent course on contemporary women’s memoirs. I have always been interested in women’s writing and especially the memoir form. After reading memoirs like Susanna Kaysen’s Girl Interrupted, Maya Angelou’s IKnow Why the C a g e d B i r d S i n g s , A n n i e E r n a u x ’ s H a p p e n i n g , a n d J e a n n e t t e W a l l s ’ G l a s s C a s t l e , I s t a r t e d t o reflect on howthe writing of trauma shapes identity. This independent study inspired me to continue my exploration in women’s memoirs, looking at the presence of traumas in addition to gender constraints, Jewishness, the various forms of ghetto, and the process of writing. Even in diverse cultures and times, the Jewish female experience exhibits commonalities based on a set of identity constraints involving gender and ethnic components. l analyzed Anzia Yezierska’s Red Ribbon on a White Horse,Roya Hakakian’s Journey from the Land of No,Helen Fremont’s A f t e r L o n g S i l e n c e , a n d R e b e c c a W a l k e r ’ s B l a c k W h i t e a n d J e w i s h .
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2016
- F&M Theses Collection