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A Life Can Be a Manifesto: Connecting Bernadine Evaristo to a History of Feminist Manifestos

Tolan, F (2023) A Life Can Be a Manifesto: Connecting Bernadine Evaristo to a History of Feminist Manifestos. In: Tolan, F and Carroll, R, (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Literature and Feminism. Routledge Literature Companions . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 978-0367410261

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This chapter contextualises Bernadine Evaristo’s 2019 novel, Girl, Woman, Other, and her 2021 autobiography, Manifesto, within a lineage of feminist manifesto writing. Although works of literary fiction and life-writing, these notably feminist-engaged companion texts overlap in their exploration of protest, trouble making, heritage, and community. They foreground Evaristo’s concern – longstanding, but increasingly urgent – with a history of women’s lives, women’s writing and women’s protest, and together, they function to frame a literary manifesto for feminism today. Taking from Sara Ahmed the principle that the purpose of a feminist manifesto is to ‘cause a disturbance’ (2017: 251), this chapter centres Evaristo’s work in a discussion that seeks to trouble the definition of a feminist manifesto in a manner that is entirely congruent with the troublesome nature of both feminism and manifestos. When we read Evaristo’s recent work as a cumulative manifesto, we discern her central tenets for living a feminist life. Drawing on the same utopian impulse and instinct to make visible the marginalised experience, Evaristo’s writing, I suggest, is best and most instructively read alongside the feminist manifesto tradition, each body of work illuminating the praxis, purpose and potential of the other.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feminism; Feminist Manifestos; Bernadine Evaristo
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Routledge
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 17:00
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2023 17:00
Editors: Tolan, F and Carroll, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19187
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