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Writing the SurvivorThe Rape Novel in Late Twentieth-Century American Fiction$
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Robin E. Field

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954835

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781942954835.001.0001

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Tracing Trauma in Rape Fiction of the Long 1990s

Tracing Trauma in Rape Fiction of the Long 1990s

(p.149) Chapter Four Tracing Trauma in Rape Fiction of the Long 1990s
Writing the Survivor

Robin E. Field

Liverpool University Press

The 1990s rape novels depict contested stories of sexual assault by employing the rhetorical techniques of postmodernism and writing about trauma to eschew the linear narration of realism that imposes certain textual interpretations. The portrayal of rape and incest in these novels echoes the pattern of trauma experienced by their characters in their complicated narration and, often, lack of tidy resolution. This model of rape fiction offers a compelling explanation to readers for the varying portrayals of rape and sexual violence seen in contemporary society, countering those who dismiss charges of sexual abuse as exaggerated or untrue.

Keywords:   Rape, Incest, Victim, Trauma, 1990s, Beloved, A Thousand Acres, Monkey King, Push, Comfort Woman, The Lovely Bones

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