Reviews and Reports

Jennifer Cooke, Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing: The New Audacity




Book review


The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen a plethora of writers, who have challenged and expanded previous notions of feminist life writing. In Contemporary Feminist Life-Writing: The New Audacity, Jennifer Cooke identifies works by thirteen contemporary writers as examples of what she refers to as a new audacity in life writing. Several of these writers are young, early in their careers, and already connected with each other through reviewers or publishers. Defining audacity as a ‘public challenge to conventions, characterized by a disregard for decorum, protocol, or moral restraints,’ Cooke refers to the thirteen writers as feminists, even when they do not directly engage with politics. Unlike their predecessors, she clarifies further, these writers are writing in the wake of queer, gender and trauma theory, and post-structural critiques of binary thinking. They view identity as social constructions manifested both materially and bodily. Through the perspectives that these writers offer on their lives and the experimental form their writing takes, Cooke argues, they are reshaping feminism and its concerns.

Author Biography

Malin Lidström Brock, Luleå University of Technology

Malin Lidström Brock is Senior Lecturer at Luleå University of Technology. Her research interests focus on contemporary American literature and culture. Her current research deals with France and the French as imaginary tropes in American popular culture. She is the author of Writing Feminist Lives: The Biographical Battles over Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem and Simone de Beauvoir (Palgrave 2017).





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