|About the Book|
Selves in Dialogue: A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing constitutes an explicit answer to the urgent call for a comparative study of American autobiography. This collection of essays ostensibly intends to cut across cultural, racialMoreSelves in Dialogue: A Transethnic Approach to American Life Writing constitutes an explicit answer to the urgent call for a comparative study of American autobiography. This collection of essays ostensibly intends to cut across cultural, racial and/or ethnic boundaries, introducing the concept of transethnicity and arguing for its increasing validity in the ever-changing field of American Studies. Accordingly, the comparative analysis in Selves in Dialogue is implemented not by juxtaposing essays that pay separate but equal attention to specific monoethnic or monocultural traditions-as has been the usual strategy in book-length publications of this sort-, but by critically engaging with two or more different traditions in every single essay. Mixing rather than segregating. The transethnic approach proposed in this collection does not imply erasing the very difference and diversity that makes American autobiographies all the more thrilling to read and study. Group-specific research of an intra-ethnic nature should and will continue to thrive. And yet, the field of American Studies is now ready to indulge more freely, and more knowledgeably, in transethnic explorations of life writing, in an attempt to delineate both the divergences and the similarities between the different autobiographies written in the US. Because of its unusual perspective, Selves in Dialogue can be of interest not only for specialists in life writing, but also for those working in the larger fields of American Literature, Ethnic Studies or American Studies.