Eastern European Exilic Trajectories in Post-1989 Life Writing

Ioana Luca


My article offers a comparative analysis of autobiographical works by Susan Suleiman, Andrei Codrescu and Kapka Kassabova with a three-pronged interest. First, I aim to further the discussion about exilic identities emerging from Eastern Europe; second, I show the “shifting national, global imaginaries” that post-1989 Eastern European exiles’ life writing registers; and third, I analyze how Suleiman, Codrescu and Kassabova negotiate affective attachments withtheir “native” Eastern European countries in the aftermath of the Cold War. I consider their life writing important as it captures the overlappings and complicities between apparently opposite regimes — nazism, communism and/or post-communism — and in so doing they animate a historical imaginary of the recent past in Eastern Europe. Their trajectories of exile and return become a lens for the larger variations of exilic subjectivity in post-cold war Eastern Europe.


Exile; Eastern Europe; Post-Communism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.60


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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.