The Sisters Antipodes: replacement and its ripples of sibling rivalry

  • Jean Owen


This chapter explores the interplay of replacement and rivalry between stepsisters in Jane Alison’s memoir The Sisters Antipodes, in which two seemingly identical families trade spouses. Via the tropes of father-hunger, twinning and the Double, it traces a complicated account of mirroring through the troubling relationship between the ‘metamorphic families’, with a particular focus on Jane and Jenny – stepsisters who correspond in age and colouring – following the ‘split’. Though often continents apart for extended periods of time, the girls become fierce rivals in their struggle to be top daughter to their respective – and each other’s – fathers. As they develop into womanhood, the competition grows increasingly destructive. The chapter draws attention to the wretched human economics of desire and desirability in this tragic tale of familial rearrangement.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Owen
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherLondonUK

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