Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent's Death

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Januar 2000



Melding the details of her own experience with the familial biographies of well-known contemporary writers, Miller recreates common experience -- the loss of a father or a mother -- and exposes the often tortuous paths of mourning and attachment that we follow in the wake of loss. She offers pieces of personal history, revealing the mixed emotions provoked by her mother's sudden death from cancer and her father's painful struggle with Parkinson's disease. Memoirs about the loss of parents show how enmeshed in the family plot we have been and the price of our complicity in its stories. The death of parents forces us to rethink our lives, to reread ourselves. We read for what we need to find. Sometimes, we also find what we didn't know we needed.


Prologue Writing a Parent's Death 1. Family Plots 2. Childless Children: Bodies and Betrayal 3. Mothers and Daughters: The Price of Separation 4. The Arts of Survival: Mom, Murder, Memory 5. Outing the Dead 6. Unbillable Hours Epilogue: Post-mortem Works Cited


Nancy K. Miller is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the City University of New York. She is author of Getting Personal and Subject to Change.


"[The book] reflects a process of maturity that has gone beyond good-girl anger at parents and teachers ... Miller's use of the memoir form offers a new model of serious criticism, and a way of imagining community through 'bonds of paper' as well as 'bonds of blood.'" --Elaine Showalter, London Review of Books "Miller's book is a discerning study of a contemporary subgenre: the memoir about dead parents... Miller is brilliant at unravelling ... complicated and agonising tangles of fairness and anger. The use of memoir to convert deep veins of resetnment into acceptance, if not forgiveness, is the core of Miller's book ... " --Alix Kates Shulman, Women's Review of Books With her own experimental form--part criticism, part autobiography--Nancy K. Miller reminds us that when we read stories about other people's lives, we see our own lives in new ways and rewrite our own stories." --Alice Kaplan, Duke University "Nancy K. Miller counterpoints lyrical introspection about her own grief with critical insight into contemporary memoirs. In the process she produces astonishingly poignant revelations about what it means to live with a dying parent, how it feels to survive after a great loss." --Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar co-authors of The Madwoman in the Attic, No Man's Land, and The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women "In Bequest and Betrayal, an esteemed literary scholar speaks to a wider audience, reminding us that at its most basic and most powerful, reading is not just what we do with books, but how we live our lives, trying always to learn from the stories we find ourselves in." --Jane Gallop, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
EAN: 9780253213792
ISBN: 0253213797
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2000
Seitenanzahl: 208 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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