Location of Repository

Recovering Women: History, Trauma, and Gender in Michèle Roberts’s In the Red Kitchen

By Emma Parker

Abstract

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Contemporary Women's Writing following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Contemporary Women's Writing, 2008, 2 (2), pp. 111-130 is available online at: http://cww.oxfordjournals.org/.Michèle Roberts, author of twelve novels (as well as three volumes of poetry, two short story collections and a memoir) and currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, has stated that much of her fiction is concerned with rescuing women “or other ‘lost voices’, people who’ve been written out of history” (Newman 121). Her fifth novel, In the Red Kitchen (1990) - recently republished as Delusion (2008) - is a historical novel that reflects Roberts’s prevailing concerns: the damaging impact of patriarchy, the social and psychological facets of female oppression, the enduring effect of childhood fears and desires, the workings of the unconscious, and the importance of imagination. Like all her work, In the Red Kitchen reimagines the lives of women by rewriting patriarchal narratives, but it also marks the beginning of her focus on historical figures, a shift that entails a questioning of history itself. Various critics have discussed Roberts’s treatment of history in relation to this novel. This essay builds on existing criticism by proposing that In the Red Kitchen not only constructs counter-histories that contest a dominant version of the past but also explores how cultural memory is retrieved and transmitted. Further, I show that Roberts underlines connections between the personal and the political by paralleling problems encountered in the recovery of women’s history with the difficulties faced by her female protagonists as they struggle to recover, and recover from, their own painful pasts. [Taken from the introduction]Peer-reviewedPost-prin

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1093/cww
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9788
Journal:

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1925). Autobiographical Study.” doi
  2. (2003). Christianity, and History: An Interview with Michèle Roberts.” Atlantis:
  3. (2000). During Mother’s Absence: The Fiction of Michèle Roberts.” British Women Writing Fiction. Ed. Abby H.P. Werlock. Tuscalosa: U of Alabama P,
  4. (2002). Feminism and Cultural Memory: An Introduction.” Signs 28.1 (Autumn doi
  5. (1998). Food, Sex and God: On Inspiration and Writing.
  6. (1997). Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture. doi
  7. (2006). In Between Locations: Space, Time and the Female Subject doi
  8. (1981). Lewis. Father-Daughter Incest. doi
  9. (2005). Michèle Roberts.” Contemporary British and Irish Fiction: An Introduction Through Interviews.
  10. (1983). My Father’s House.” Fathers: Reflections by Daughters.
  11. (1995). Not Outside the Range: One Feminist Perspective on Psychic Trauma.” Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Ed. Cathy Caruth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP,
  12. (2006). Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors and Media into the Twenty-First Century. doi
  13. (1989). Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights doi
  14. (1999). Shattered Subjects: Trauma and Testimony on Women’s Life Writing. doi
  15. (2002). Spiritualism and Depth Psychology in Michèle Roberts’s Victorian Novel.” Rereading Victorian Fiction. doi
  16. (1992). Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History. doi
  17. The Aetiology of Hysteria.” 1896. doi
  18. (1984). The Assault on Truth: Freud and Child Sexual Abuse.
  19. (1989). The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England. Chicago: U of Chicago P, doi
  20. (1987). The Female Malady: Women, doi
  21. (1997). The Memory Wars: Freud’s Legacy in Dispute. London: Granta,
  22. (1985). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, doi
  23. (1992). The Trial of Woman: Feminism and the Occult Sciences in Victorian Literature and Society. doi
  24. (2005). The Victorian Woman Question in Contemporary Feminist Fiction London: doi
  25. (1992). Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. doi
  26. (2002). Trauma and Survival in Contemporary Literature. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P,
  27. (1996). Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. doi
  28. (2004). Visions and Re-Visions: Women and Time in Michèle Roberts’s In the Red Kitchen.” Women: A Cultural Review 15.2 (Autumn doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.