"Indecent Exposure? Margaux Fragoso and the Limits of Abuse Memoir"

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    Abstract

    In 2011, North American creative writing graduate Margaux Fragoso published her first book, a memoir titled Tiger, Tiger. Detailing the author's childhood sexual relationship with a 57-year-old man, the memoir was highly controversial. In critical receptions of the memoir, three themes recurred: a sense that it exceeds the limits of appropriate representation, unease with Fragoso bringing child abuse into a stylized literary space, and the question why do we need to read this story-a view that it is potentially damaging for readers to consume such narratives. In this paper, we explore the reception of Tiger, Tiger and we argue the text reveals how memoir remains lodged in an uneasy relationship to ideals of public good (dictated by critics and reviewers) versus the needs and ethics of individual representation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-53
    Number of pages15
    JournalProse Studies
    Volume35
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

    Keywords

    • abuse
    • childhood
    • ethics
    • literary culture
    • trauma

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