Linda LÊ, L’Écriture Du Manque

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This groundbreaking study, the first ever published on Linda Lê, a young albeit prolific writer of Vietnamese origin whose fiction shocked readers by its violence and cruelty and challenged critics by its complexity, explores the issue of ‘lack’ (manque) in three areas of Lê’s rich works: of rootedness in her writing, of loving relationships, of the father figure and nurturing mother. Lê’s displaced, exiled status is not foreign to the Deleuzean postmodernist aspects of her prose and to the pharmakon nature (both poison and remedy) of her texts. The study further demonstrates the difficulty of personal relationships in Lê’s works; while Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse only applies here to incestuous, fraternal relationships, Derrida’s The Post Card continues to shed light on the father-daughter relationship. The conclusion presents a lighter side of Lê often overlooked by critics, i.e., humor and playfulness, and the fantastic. In addition to being rigorous in its method and original in its approach, this study makes Lê’s works less daunting, more approachable to academics and graduate students. It will appeal to scholars in contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Asian literature, as well as Women’s Studies, Postmodernism, and Postcolonial Studies.


“Dr. Bacholle-Boškovi?’s astute readings of [Lê’s works] benefit from rare personal contacts and interviews with the writer herself ... This salutory book takes work on Linda Lê to new levels and will stand as a landmark both in the trajectory of this important and engaging scholar but also in its affirmation of the impact and influence of the writer. This work fills a gap in Lê studies while doubling as one of the writer’s signature moves, throwing down the gauntlet to all her readers. This book will be required reading for all students of Linda Lê.” – (from the Foreword) Professor Jack A. Yeager, Louisiana State University

“This work fills an important gap in Francophone and French scholarship. It is the first book-length study on the work of Linda Lê, the French writer of Vietnamese descent whose distinctive voice makes her one of the most exciting young writers to have emerged on the French literary scene in the last fifteen years. Dr. Bacholle-Boškovi? sheds light on the author’s work not only by tracing a genealogy of its literary influences, from Kafka to Ingeborg Bachmann, but also by focusing on the recurrent motifs that characterize her novels and short stories ... This perceptive study, informed by psychoanalytical theory, is a welcome and timely contribution to Francophone and French studies.” – Professor Panivong Norindr, University of Southern California

“Few articles have been written on the work of prolific Franco-Vietnamese author Linda Lê. Here, Dr. Bacholle-Boškovi? tackles skillfully the intricacy of one of the most important voices in France’s recent migrant literature. A dark, gluey, at times perverse environment, Lê’s work is bound to generate resistance. This book greatly succeeds not only in taking the readers beyond the text’s difficulties but in elucidating both their form and content, in order to reveal the way in which rather than filling gaps, Lê opens them, writing the wounds of the self and identity ... While previous studies of Lê’s works have been based on the question of her migrancy, the indisputable originality of this work lies in the way in which it reveals the multidimensionality of Lê’s writing, manifest not only in its diversity, but in its depth ...” – Professor Martine Delvaux, Université du Québec à Montréal

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jack A. Yeager
En guise d’introduction ... Linda Lê, la montagne magique
I. Parole “déplacée”, écriture nomade, literature prométhéenne
II. Amour ... Amours
III. Le “roman familial” de Linda Lê
Pour conclure ... De l’écriture du manque à l’écriture ludique

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