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Author: Kate Averis


Douna Loup’s Les Lignes de ta paume (2012) foregrounds the fictional traversing of the experiential gap between youth and old age, voicing the experience of an elderly woman by an author fifty years her junior. It draws on the life experience of Linda Naeff (1936–2014), a Geneva-based artist who, from the age of sixty when she awakened from a soporific marriage until her death in 2014 at the age of eighty-eight, created over seven thousand works of art in her kitchen-cum-studio, to great critical acclaim.

This article posits Les Lignes de ta paume as illustrative of an emerging twenty-first-century trend of French-language female-authored fictional narratives of female ageing that move beyond from the genre’s strong autobiographical tendency in the twentieth century. In a first instance, it examines the representation of ageing femininity in terms of increasing creativity, agency and autonomy in late life, before analysing the narrative strategies adopted in the heretofore atypical choice (in women’s writing as well as fiction in French more broadly) of featuring an aged female character in the work of a younger writer. It concludes with a discussion of the text’s negotiation of the boundary between biographical and imaginative writing, breached through an ethics of intimacy.

In: Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French
Volume Editors: Kate Averis, Eglė Kačkutė, and Catherine Mao
Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French analyses the literary transgressions of women’s writing in French since the turn of the twenty-first century in the works of major figures, such as Annie Ernaux and Véronique Tadjo, of the now established writers of the ‘nouvelle génération’, such as Marie Darrieussecq and Virginie Despentes, and in some of the most exciting and innovative authors from across the francosphère, from Nine Antico to Maïssa Bey and Chloé Delaume.
Pushing the boundaries of current thinking about normative and queer identities, local and global communities, family and kinship structures, bodies and sexualities, creativity and the literary canon, these authors pose the potential of reading and writing to also effectuate change in the world beyond the text.

Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French étudie les transgressions littéraires dans l’écriture des femmes en français depuis le début du XXIe siècle. L’analyse porte sur les oeuvres de figures majeures, telles qu’Annie Ernaux et Véronique Tadjo, d’auteures bien établies de la ‘nouvelle génération’, parmi lesquelles Marie Darrieussecq et Virginie Despentes, et de certaines des auteures les plus innovantes de la francosphère, de Nine Antico à Maïssa Bey en passant par Chloé Delaume. Repoussant les frontières de la pensée dominante sur les identités normatives ou queer, les communautés locales ou globales, les structures familiales ou de parenté, les corps ou les sexualités, la créativité ou le canon littéraire, ces auteures développent un potentiel de lecture et d’écriture porteur de changements au-delà du texte. Contributors /avec des contributions de: Ounissa Ait Benali, Jean Anderson, Kate Averis, Marzia Caporale, Dawn M. Cornelio, Sandra Daroczi, Sophie Guignard, Élise Hugueny-Léger, Irène Le Roy Ladurie, Siobhán McIlvanney, Michèle A. Schaal, Marta Segarra, Marinella Termite, Lyn Thomas, Antonia Wimbush
In: Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French
In: Transgression(s) in Twenty-First-Century Women's Writing in French