Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives

Front Cover
U of Minnesota Press, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 394 pages
5 Reviews
With the memoir boom, life storytelling has become ubiquitous and emerged as a distinct field of study. Reading Autobiography, originally published in 2001, was the first comprehensive critical introduction to life writing in all its forms. Widely adopted for undergraduate and graduate-level courses, it is an essential guide for students and scholars reading and interpreting autobiographical texts and methods across the humanities, social sciences, and visual and performing arts.   Thoroughly updated, the second edition of Reading Autobiography is the most complete assessment of life narrative in its myriad forms. It lays out a sophisticated, theoretical approach to life writing and the components of autobiographical acts, including memory, experience, identity, embodiment, space, and agency. Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson explore these components, review the history of life writing and the foundations of autobiographical subjectivity, and provide a toolkit for working with twenty-three key concepts. Their survey of innovative forms of life writing, such as autographics and installation self-portraiture, charts recent shifts in autobiographical practice. Especially useful for courses are the appendices: a glossary covering dozens of distinct genres of life writing, proposals for group and classroom projects, and an extensive bibliography.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
1
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheBooknerd - LibraryThing

This is a good resource for anyone new to autobiographies, particular for classes. It informs on autobiographical writings, instructs on how to read autobiographies, and even contains exercises for ... Read full review

Review: Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives

User Review  - Patrick Ammerman - Goodreads

A useful starting point for reading autobiography...especially the toolkit in the final pages. Read full review

Contents

Definitions and Distinctions
1
2 Auto biographical Subjects
21
3 Auto biographical Acts
63
4 Life Narrative in Historical Perspective
103
5 In the Wake of the Memoir Boom
127
6 The VisualVerbalVirtual Contexts of Life Narrative
167
Theorizing Autobiography
193
Expanding Autobiography Studies
213
Twentyfour Strategies for Reading Life Narratives
235
Appendix A Sixty Genres of Life Narrative
253
Appendix B Group and Classroom Projects
287
Appendix C Journals and Internet Resources
295
Notes
297
Bibliography
307
Index
359
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Sidonie Smith is Martha Guernsey Colby Collegiate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.

Julia Watson is professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

Bibliographic information