Autobiographical impostures, once they come to light, appear to us as outrageous, scandalous. They confuse lived and textual identity and call into question what we believe, what we doubt, and how we receive information. This book examines a range of impostures in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
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Linda Warley teaches in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. She has published articles in journals such as Canadian Literature , a/b: Auto/Biography Studies , and Reading Canadian Autobiography , a special issue of Essays on Canadian Writing .
Doubting Thomas: The Implications of Imposture in Autobiography; Faith, Doubt, & Textual Identity; Sensational Identities: Made in the Media; "The Song My Paddle Sings": Grey Owl & Ethnic Imposture; "Frautobiography" or Discourses of Deception; In Search of the Subject: The Disappearance of the Jews; In Conclusion: Textual Identities at Work in the World; Index.
It is in these areas of autobiography where Egan's expertise in the field is apparent--discussing how imposture serves as a political weapon, and ultimately revealing the context from which it arises and grows within the culture. The reader gleans a clearer understanding of how imposture works to both create and destroy stereotypes, cultural blind spots, and our collective desires. The reader often sympathizes with the phony and the duped, as Egan taps into the common desire to test our identities, to play with our own stories. Whether she is discussing Andreas Karavais, the whimsical, albeit imaginary, Greek poet, or the unfortunate timeliness of Jumana Hanna and Norma Khouri's (real name Norma Toliopolous) stories of Muslim women needing Western rescue, the cultural acceptance and perpetuation of the dubious need to satisfy common desires and assuage common fears is well noted.... What kinds of cultures accept and celebrate what kinds of stories? And who gets to tell them? Through this lens, as Egan shows, a complex world of faith, doubt, and identity unravels.''--Meghan Rosatelli "Biography, 34.4, Fall 2011 "
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