Nomadic Modernisms and Diasporic Journeys of Djuna Barnes and Jane Bowles

“Two Very Serious Ladies”


This book traces the artistic trajectories of Djuna Barnes and Jane Bowles, examining their literary representations of the nomadic ethic pervading the twentieth-century expatriate movements in and out of America. The book argues that these authors contribute to the nomadic aesthetic of American modernism: its pastoral ideographies, (post)colonial ecologies, as well as regional and transcultural varieties. Mapping the pastoral moment in different temporalities and spaces (Barnes representing the 1920s expatriation in Europe while Bowles comments on the 1940s exodus to Mexico and North Africa), this book suggests that Barnes and Bowles counter the critical trend associating American modernity primarily with urban spaces, and instead locate the nomadic thrust of their times in the (post)colonial history of the American frontier.
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Biographical Note

Pavlina Radia received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2004. She currently serves as the Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science at Nipissing University (Canada). She is a tenured, Associate Professor in the Department of English (Nipissing University) and the Director of the Centre of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences (CICAS) at Nipissing. She specializes in American Literature. Her publications include books and articles in international journals.


This book is suitable for academics, specialists, modernist associations and institutes, undergraduate and graduate students, academic libraries, and public libraries. The themes include American modernism, displacement, expatriation, and diasporic consciousness.