There are many different ways to say "I." This book examines the ways in which four contemporary women writers (Helene Cixous, Assia Djebar, Gisele Halimi and Julia Kristeva) have written their autobiographical "I" as a plural concept. These women refuse the individual "I" of traditional autobiography by developing narrative strategies that multiply the voices in their texts. Each chapter examines a text, or a series of texts, that offers a different approach to writing a plural "I." Taken together, the texts depart from current theorizations of the female autobiographical "I" by calling for another category of identity; the women cannot write the self by using an individual "I" or by a collective "we." Instead, these texts rest uncomfortably between the pronouns "I" and "we" and thus call for different understandings of female selfhood and of collective belonging.
Natalie Edwards teaches at Wagner College, New York City.
Chapter 1 Introduction: From the Individual "I" to the Non-Unitary Self Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Gisele Halimi's Self-(Re)Writing Project Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Fictional Doubles in Julia Kristeva'sLes samourais Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Archive and Autobiography in Assia Dejbar's Vaste est la prison Chapter 5 Chapter 4: The Displaced Autobiographical Subject in Helene Cixous's Les reveries de la femme sauvage Chapter 6 Conclusion: New Textual Identities