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Intimate Empire

Reading Women's Autobiography

Intimate Empire
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By means of contextualized readings, this work argues that autobiographic writing allows an intimate access to processes of colonization and decolonization, incorporation and resistance, and the formation and reformation of identities which occurs in postcolonial space. The book explores the interconnections between race, gender, autobiography and colonialism and uses a method of reading which looks for connections between very different autobiographical writings to pursue constructions of blackness and whiteness, femininity and masculinity, and nationality. Unlike previous studies of autobiography which focus on a limited Euro American canon, the book brings together contemporary and 19th-century women's autobiographies and travel writing from Canada, the Caribbean, Kenya, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. With emphasis on the reader of autobiography as much as the subject, it argues that colonization and resistance are deeply embedded in thinking about the self.