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Travelling in Women’s History with Michèle Roberts’s Novels

Literature, Language and Culture

Maria Soraya Garcia-Sanchez

Travelling in Women’s History with Michèle Roberts’s Novels: Literature, Language and Culture is a journey to discover Roberts’s work as a feminist writer, novelist and memoirist. An overall analysis and detailed overview of Michèle Roberts’s novels first provide the reader with a study of Roberts’s rewriting of stories that have been inspired by historical, mythological and religious women who gain a voice in her fiction. Not only will the content of Roberts’s novels be explored but also its connection to form, as this feminist writer has always linked body to language. Second, the book analyses personal and public discoveries in Roberts’s memoir, Paper Houses: A Memoir of the ‘70s and Beyond (2007). The personal, professional and political journeys the writer-protagonist strolls in London will be part of a feminist culture and language that the memoirist preserves in her autobiography. Finally, two conversations with Michèle Roberts from 2003 and 2010 are presented in a last chapter in order to illustrate Roberts’s arguments when writing as a woman.


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Talking with Michèle Roberts: two interviews in 2003 and 2010 The last part of this manuscript comprises two conversations I had with Michèle Roberts, one in 2003 and the last one in 2010. Both interviews took place in London, one in her apartment and the other in a coffee shop near the British Museum. I would like to thank both, Atlantis: Revista de la Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo- Americanos and the Journal of International Women’s Studies, for allowing me to reproduce both interviews in this book. Talking about women, history and writing with Michèle Roberts In the first conversation, Michèle Roberts talked about her last work at that time, Reader, I Married Him (2005). As she kept on talking, we get to know this story through the voice of a fifty-year-old woman. This interview, which took place in Roberts’s apartment in London when I was working on my doctoral thesis, is about the combination of women, history and writing in Roberts’s works of fiction. I would like to start the conversation talking about ‘writing’ and its beginning in your career. Um. Well, I think I was like all other children in English primary schools. You were encouraged to write little stories, poems, etc. I also kept a diary. I began keeping a diary when I was about ten. I lived in a 140 family where people read a lot. My parents both read, so we had a lot of books at home. My...

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