Biography, vol. 37, no. 3 (2014)

Editors’ Note, v

Antjie Krog and the Autobiography of Postcolonial Becoming
Elizabeth Rodrigues, 725

Imagination disrupts documentary, as Antjie Krog compares the experience of attending the opening hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to being reborn. Figuratively placing herself back at the beginning of human development, in the early pages of Country of My Skull Krog registers the profound personal effects of the TRC’s public process of national redefinition, and equates its beginning with the beginning of a new life—or potential beginning, as, fittingly, her rebirth is not yet narrated. Before her, and before the South African nation, stands an imperative of transformation so profound that the comparison to physical birth seems apt, both appropriately extreme and appropriately impossible. No person and no country can literally go “back”; self and nation must attempt immediate change in medias res. Krog’s bold imagining invites us to consider how her autobiographical works stage the narrative of development in the context of postcoloniality as a process that cannot rely on inborn or teleological trajectories for its beginnings and ends but must actively and urgently construct its horizons.

Constructing National Heroes: Postcolonial Philippine and Cuban Biographies of José Rizal and José Martí
Maria Theresa Valenzuela, 745

Biographies of the national heroes José Rizal and José Martí provide a useful model for evaluating shifting interests in the project of nationalism in the Philippines and Cuba respectively. Through a postcolonial evaluation of selected biographies of Rizal and Martí, this article examines the constructedness of the designation “national hero.”

Witnessing Others in Narrative Collaboration: Ethical Responsibility beyond Recognition
Bettina Stumm, 762

This article examines the ethical responsibilities of relating and responding to subjects of oppression in the context of collaborative life writing. One well-established ethical response to oppression is the practice of recognition. Drawing on the phenomenological ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur, as well as the related work of Kelly Oliver, I raise some of the limitations of recognition, and delineate the ethical alternative of witnessing, bringing both to bear on my collaborative work with Holocaust survivor Rhodea Shandler.

Remembering A Baghdad Elsewhere: An Emotional Cartography
Ella Shohat, 784

By juxtaposing often quarantined geographies and histories, and interweaving disparate narratives, the author illuminates an emotional cartography of dislocation, as a disjointed map of her own journey and familial odyssey from Iraq to Israel/Palestine to the US outlines the making of a hyphenated identity, and the pain and pleasure of hybridity within cross-generational crossings of enemy zones.


Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market by Julie Rak
Reviewed by Helen M. Buss, 791

Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists by Hilary Chute
Reviewed by Dale Jacobs, 794

The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture ed. by Tom Brown, Belén Vidal
Reviewed by Jean Petrolle, 797

Projected Art History: Biopics, Celebrity Culture, and the Popularizing of American Art by Doris Berger
Reviewed by Julie F. Codell, 799

Medialisierungsformen des (Auto) Biografischen ed. by Carsten Heinze, Alfred Hornung
Reviewed by Nina Schmidt, 803

Documents of Life Revisited: Narrative and Biographical Methodology for a 21st Century Critical Humanism ed. by Liz Stanley
Reviewed by Andy Mousley, 808

Writing the Self: Diaries, Memoirs, and the History of the Self by Peter Heehs
Reviewed by Réal Fillion, 812

The Fiction of Autobiography: Reading and Writing Identity by Micaela Maftei
Reviewed by Susannah B. Mintz, 814

Haunted Narratives: Life Writing in an Age of Trauma by Gabriele Rippl et al.
Reviewed by Nathalie Segeral, 817

Life Writing and Schizophrenia: Encounters at the Edge of Meaning by Mary Elene Wood
Reviewed by Barbara Schneider, 820

Transformative Learning through Creative Life Writing: Exploring the Self in the Learning Process by Celia Hunt
Reviewed by Christine Jarvis, 822

In(ter)venciones del yo: Escritura y sujeto autobiográfico en la literatura hispanoamericana (1974–2002) by Sergio R. Franco
Reviewed by Joy Logan, 825

We Are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements by Lynn Stephen
Reviewed by Luis Sánchez-López, 830

Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation by Robert Bartlett
Reviewed by Rachel Koopmans,833

Swimming with Dr Johnson and Mrs Thrale: Sport, Health and Exercise in Eighteenth-Century England by Julia Allen, 835
Reviewed by Jenny M. Davidson

The Case of Mistress Mary Hampson: Her Story of Marital Abuse and Defiance in Seventeenth-Century England by Jessica L. Malay
Reviewed by Tim Stretton, 837

Edith and I: On the Trail of an Edwardian Traveller in Kosovo by Elizabeth Gowing
Reviewed by Gayle Munro, 840

Charles M. Russell: Photographing the Legend by Larry Len Peterson
Reviewed by Mark Andrew White, 842