The Body in Autobiography and Autobiographical Novels: The Importance of Being Normal
This volume explores a web of complex relationships between body and mind, discussing the efforts of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds to define, to achieve, or to reject the normal; and, in some cases, to put something else in its place. After considering the problems arising from other peoples perceptions of non-standard bodies, the book turns to gender: is it written upon the body, established at birth, determined only by physical traits and distinguished by material things such as clothes; or is it written within the body, defined through the subjects own feelings? It considers what happens when males consider themselves female, and females consider themselves male. It concludes with the analysis of four books, by different authors with different sexual orientations. Two of these volumes might be considered genuine autobiographies, while the other two are novels which include numerous autobiographical features that reflect the authors own thoughts.