Examines how contemporary US migrant women's life writing adapts autobiographical genres to call for social change benefiting minoritized communities.
A cross-cultural, comparative study of contemporary life writing by women who migrated to the United States from Mexico, Ghana, South Korea, and Iran, Lives beyond Borders broadens and deepens critical work on immigrant life writing. Ina C. Seethaler investigates how these autobiographical texts—through genre mixing, motifs of doubling, and other techniques—challenge stereotypes, social hierarchies, and the supposed fixity of identity and lend literary support to grassroots social justice efforts. Seethaler's approach to literary analysis is both interdisciplinary and accessible. While Lives beyond Borders draws on feminist theory, critical race theory, and disability and migration studies, it also uses stories to engage and interest readers in issues related to migration and social change. In so doing, the book reevaluates the purpose, form, and audience of immigrant life writing.
Ina C. Seethaler is Associate Professor and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Coastal Carolina University.
"The great strength of Lives beyond Borders is the diversity and range of texts chosen for analysis. Each memoir represents a case study in a particular situation of immigration to the United States and poses specific challenges regarding the kinds of discourse that frame that situation, although Seethaler takes pains to acknowledge and consider the intersectionality of nationality, gender, race, and citizenship that plays itself out in each author's story." — Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature