. “The Autobiography of My Mother: Narrative as an Access to Post/Colonial Trauma”

This study discusses the Caribbean writer Jamaica Kincaid's novel The Autobiography of My Mother (1996) from the perspective of trauma theory. The study explores how Kincaid is using the loss of the mother as a mode of access into colonial history and how her ctional methodology reects the methods of trauma studies. By insisting on claiming her body and bodily pleasures, Xuela, the protagonist of the novel, resists the colonialist epistemology based on the denial of the colonized body and existence. What The Autobiography of My Mother shows us is that for the postcolonial writer the work of trauma functions as a form of resistance. In The Autobiography of My Mother, Kincaid challenges the traditional modes of telling one's own story by narrating her mother's story with a rst person narration. Reading the novel in light of trauma theory enables us to analyze how it reckons with colonial trauma; and thereby, offers different ways of imagining the postcolonial self. In contrast to Freudian pathological interpretation of mourning, the study argues that authors like Jamaica Kincaid depathologize mourning, by emphasizing the historical and cultural aspect of it rather than treating it only as a personal and psychological experience. In this novel, Kincaid creatively shows that the search of the personal is always already political and revisions the space of the postcolonial autobiographical writing as a space where the tension between agency and power is constantly negotiated on a personal and collective level.

Citation Formats
H. Yıldız Bağçe, “. “The Autobiography of My Mother: Narrative as an Access to Post/Colonial Trauma”,” Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 57, pp. 605–621, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/34997.