‘A New Literature of Rape’: Storytelling, Genre and Subjectivity

  • Tanya Serisier


This chapter uses the proliferation of book-length ‘rape memoirs’ in the late 1990s to explore the effects of genre formation and the existence of a recognisable core narrative of speaking out. While feminists and survivors believed that speaking out would enable all survivors to speak and tell a diverse range of stories, this chapter describes a set of generic boundaries around the kinds of stories that are tellable. The chapter also explores the ambivalent effects of speaking out as described by the women who tell their stories. Although the promise of speaking out is that it can produce individual empowerment and collective liberation, the survivors in this genre describe it as an act fraught with risk and vulnerability as well as recognition and empowerment.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya Serisier
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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