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Kinship and text in contemporary narratives of transnational adoption
Kristianstad University, Faculty of Education, Avdelningen för humaniora.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3020-7814
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the connection between life writing and kinship in a number of narratives by adoptees from South Korea to the US as well as Scandinavia, such as American Katy Robinson’s A Single Square Picture (2002), Jane Jeong Trenka’s The Language of Blood (2003) and Fugitive Visions (2009), and Soojung Jo’s Ghost of Sangju (2015); and Swedish Astrid Trotzig’s Blod är tjockare än vatten (1996), Sofia French’s På jakt efter Mr. Kim i Seoul (2005), and Danish Maja Lee Langvad’s Hun er vred (”She is Angry” 2014).

I propose that these texts are examples of narrative kinning, an exploration and creation of kinship through text and between texts. Thus, my understanding of this term is twofold. First, for these writers, the texts provide a discursive space in which alternative modes of identity and kinship can be envisioned and embodied. Second, I suggest that the formal features of the texts are sufficiently similar to exemplify a form of narrative kinning, and that the Korean adoptee memoir could be considered a genre-in-progress. The paper traces similarities of voice, structure, themes and tone between American and Scandinavian narratives of transnational/transracial adoption. More particularly, the study shows how the first-person voice counters the parent-centric discourse of transnational/transracial adoption. Focusing on structure includes analyzing the search narrative and the home-away-home pattern, while themes like home and belonging; inauthenticity and adoption as consumption are probed. Finally, the analysis of tone suggests that the affective register of the memoirs ranges from melancholia to anger.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Transnational adoption – memoir – kinship – genre – transracial adoption – autobiography – adoptee identity – affect
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-19836OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-19836DiVA, id: diva2:1345040
Conference
Close Relations: Critical Studies of Family and Kinship, Uppsala University, October 24 – 26, 2018.
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Ahlin, Lena

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf