"Through the long corridor of distance"

Space and Self in Contemporary New Zealand Women’s Autobiographies


Examined in this study are twentieth- and twenty-first century autobiographies and memoirs by major New Zealand women writers. Brought together for the first time in a single study, texts by Sylvia Ashton–Warner, Janet Frame, Lauris Edmond, Fiona Kidman, Barbara Anderson, Ruth Park, and Ruth Dallas are analysed with the aid of spatial concepts that probe unexplored aspects of their life-narratives.
Drawing on recent and revised concepts of place and space in cultural geography, philosophy, and sociology, the book ac¬knowledges the link between identities and locations in a non-essentialist way by pinpointing the various forms of inhabit¬ing and being in space. It refutes the idea of autobiographies as pure self-referential texts, and shows how these works deploy their own horizon of reference.

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Valérie Baisnée is currently a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Paris Sud. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include the personal writings and poetry of twentieth-century women, with a particular focus on New Zealand women writers. She has contributed to several published books and journals on women’s autobiographies and diaries, and she is the author of Gendered Resistance: The Autobiographies of Simone de Beauvoir, Maya Angelou, Janet Frame and Marguerite Duras (1997).
1. Thresholds
2. Homes
3. Displaced Bodies, Disembodied Texts
4. Landscapes
5. Itineraries
Works Cited
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