Life Lines: Auto/biography and Memoir

  • Linda Anderson
Part of the The History of British Women’s Writing book series (HBWW)


The promise that autobiographical writing seems to hold — to lead us beyond the fictional, providing ways of intervening in political debate with personal stories of discovery and transformation — made it a particularly important form in the 1970s and 1980s. Women’s autobiographical writing — encouraged as praxis as much as studied as texts — became allied with the idea of ‘finding a voice’, of putting an identity into words or telling a life story which challenged the ready-made stereotypes of women within a patriarchal order. The phenomenon of ‘consciousness-raising’, with which feminism is associated in this period, depended on an idea of telling one’s unique story and being able to validate the personal as an ‘authentic truth’. However, key to this use of personal stories was also the idea that the personal would provide insight into politically charged questions of gender identity, and that any story would achieve ‘interactive significance’ or collective resonance within the group.1


Personal Story Life Line Adoptive Mother Autobiographical Narrative Collective Resonance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Linda Anderson 2015

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  • Linda Anderson

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