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Writing and Identity in Jane Jeong Trenka’s Life Narratives
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Humaniora.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3020-7814
2017 (English)In: International Adoption in North American Literature and Culture: transnational, transracial and transcultural narratives / [ed] Mark Shackleton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 121-142 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter explores the connection between writing and subjectivity in Jane Jeong Trenka’s two memoirs, The Language of Blood (2003) and Fugitive Visions (2009), suggesting that the two texts participate in a dialogue in which questions that were raised in the first work are revisited and reconsidered in the second. The result is a multilayered and at times conflicted life narrative, which offers no simple solutions to the complex questions of identity raised. While Trenka’s texts address the unspeakable aspects of adoption and the inability to recover parts of the past, they also address the materiality of adoption. Common adoption myths, such as the discourse of rescue, and the myth of color-blindness, are debunked. The chapter argues that there is a tension in the texts between the representation of adoption as trauma with individual as well as societal implications, and adoption as a productive site generating questions of identity and origin of universal relevance. Placing the form and act of narration in focus, the analysis suggests that the adoption narrative may function as an empowering imaginative space for the production of identity. In addition, the paper traces how sensory experiences are used to re-enact the past—or even instill new memories to replace the perceived gaps in the narrative of the past. The two texts suggest that an engagement with and translation of the non-verbal aspects of identity into text can provide acts of self-authorization that demonstrate the restorative potential of the transnational adoptee’s life narrative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 121-142 p.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-17253DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-59942-7ISBN: 978-3-319-59941-0 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-59942-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-17253DiVA: diva2:1140814
Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-09-13 Last updated: 2017-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Total: 17 hits
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