I can see through you: Double vision in Jennifer Egan's Look At Me and Alexandra Kleeman's You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

Patricia Malone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this essay, I read Jennifer Egan and Alexandra Kleeman’s work within a distinct strand of contemporary literature, characterized by a turn away from skepticism as regards the transparency of language, a revitalized faith in literary form, and a pronounced interest in the capacity of the novel form as well as a centering of the existential experience of the subject socialized as “woman.” Charting a shift from the paranoid mode of the high postmodernists to the contemporary moment in which appearance – visibility – is a necessary and even desirable form of sociality, I suggest that the turn “from the outside in” is fruitfully understood through consideration of the memoir boom of the 1990s and the “specular moment” of autobiography, reconsidering the dyadic dynamic of the reader–author relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-279
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Women's Writing
Volume15
Issue number2
Early online date21 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Aug 2021

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