Cover of From Split to Screened Selves by Rachel Gabara
From Split to Screened Selves
French and Francophone Autobiography in the Third Person
Rachel Gabara


232 pages.

Hardcover now $37.50 (50% off)

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804753562


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Winner of the 2007 SAMLA Studies Book Award, sponsored by the South Atlantic MLA.

This book is a study of recent autobiographies by French and Francophone African writers and filmmakers, all of whom reject simple first-person narration and experiment with narrative voice and form to represent fragmented subjectivity. Gabara investigates autobiography across media, from print to photography and film, as well as across the colonial encounter, from France to Francophone North and West Africa. Reading works by Roland Barthes, Nathalie Sarraute, Assia Djebar, Cyril Collard, David Achkar, and Raoul Peck, she argues that autobiographical film and African autobiography, subgenres that have until now been overlooked or dismissed by critics, offer new and important possibilities for self-representation in the twenty-first century. Not only do these new forms of autobiography deserve our attention, but any study of contemporary autobiography is incomplete without them.

About the author

Rachel Gabara is Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Georgia.

"Rachel Gabara's work is an informative contribution to the scholarship that already exists on the problems associated with the autobiographical genre as it introduces media that have not yet been fully explored . . . Gabara's work is an interesting and original look at autobiography that is pertinent for scholars in diverse disciplines."

—Randi L. Polk, French Review

"Rachel Gabara's monograph is a welcome, and timely, intervention in the field of autobiographical studies . . . It is to be hoped that her truly interdisciplinary approach . . . will influence research in post-colonial, comparative literature and francophone studies. "

—Kate Marsh, international Journal of Francophone Studies

"Through her close readings of textual and cinematic autobiographies and through her judicious use of theoretical concepts, Gabara makes a persuasive case for diversity in autobiography, for broadening the characteristics which define life writing and filmic recits de soi."


"A skillful examination . . . This interesting, carefully researched study will be very useful."


"Relying on excellent scholarship, Rachel Gabara's work has brought together both familiar and new material to bear on the vexed question of autobiography. An outstanding contribution to literary, cultural, and film studies, From Split to Screened Selves will have a real impact on a number of fields: postcolonial studies, comparative literature, French and Francophone studies, film studies, and autobiographical studies."

—Panivong Norindr, University of Southern California