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Amélie Nothomb

Authorship, Identity and Narrative Practice


Susan Bainbrigge and Jeanette Den Toonder

Since the publication of her first novel in 1992, Amélie Nothomb continues to engage and to provoke her readers through her exploration of the fluid boundaries between beauty and monstrosity, good and evil, fable and reality, as well as by her fascinating presentation of childhood, anorexia, and the abject. In Amélie Nothomb: Authorship, Identity and Narrative Practice, the first full-length study in English of Nothomb’s work, these elements are presented and interpreted from a variety of perspectives, with the contributors focusing on a single novel or comparing different texts. Comprised of a collection of essays on her autobiographical and fictional works, with contributions from her anglophone translators, it also includes an interview with the author, a preface by the eminent writer and critic, Jacques de Decker and a bibliography of secondary works. Nothomb’s works and the critical responses to them are contextualized in a general introduction and organized under the following key themes: autobiography and gender identity, representations of the body, and narrative practice. This collection is an essential resource for students and scholars of twentieth-century contemporary literature and gender studies.
Contents: Jacques de Decker: Preface: Nothomb avec un b comme Belgique/Nothomb with a b as in Belgium – Susan Bainbrigge/Jeanette den Toonder: Introduction – Hélène Jaccomard: Self in Fabula: Amélie Nothomb’s Three Autobiographical Works – Désirée Pries: Piscina: Gender Identity in Métaphysique des tubes – Victoria B. Korzeniowska: Bodies, Space and Meaning in Amélie Nothomb’s Stupeur et tremblements – Cathrine Rodgers: Nothomb’s Anorexic Beauties – Lénaïk Le Garrec: Beastly Beauties and Beautiful Beasts – Philippa Caine: ‘Entre-deux’ Inscription of Female Corporeality in the Writing of Amélie Nothomb – Jean-Marc Terrasse: Does Monstrosity Exist in the Feminine? A Reading of Amélie Nothomb’s Angels and Monsters – Shirley Ann Jordan: Amélie Nothomb’s Combative Dialogues: Erudition, Wit and Weaponry – Claire Gorrara: L’Assassinat de l’écriture: Amélie Nothomb’s Les Combustibles – Susan Bainbrigge: ‘Monter l’escalier anachronique’: Intertextuality in Mercure – David Gascoigne: Amélie Nothomb and the Poetics of Excess – Laureline Amanieux: The Myth of Dionysus in Amélie Nothomb’s Work – Mark D. Lee: Amélie Nothomb: Writing Childhood’s End – Marinella Termite: ‘Closure’ in Amélie Nothomb’s Novels – Andrew Wilson: ‘Sabotage, eh?’ Translating Le Sabotage amoureux from the French into the Canadian and the American – Adriana Hunter: Narrative Voice in Amélie Nothomb’s Stupeur et tremblements: A Translator’s Impression.