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Ebook Information

Shared Selves

Latinx Memoir and Ethical Alternatives to Humanism

Seeing life writing through a posthumanist lens

Memoir typically places selfhood at the center. Interestingly, the genre's recent surge in popularity coincides with breakthroughs in scholarship focused on selfhood in a new way: as an always renewing, always emerging entity.

Suzanne Bost draws on feminist and posthumanist ideas to explore how three contemporary memoirists decenter the self. Latinx writers John Rechy, Aurora Levins Morales, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa work in places where personal history intertwines with communities, environments, animals, plants, and spirits. This dedication to interconnectedness resonates with ideas in posthumanist theory while calling on indigenous worldviews. As Bost argues, our view of life itself expands if we look at how such frameworks interact with queer theory, disability studies, ecological thinking, and other fields. These webs of relation in turn mediate experience, agency, and life itself.

A transformative application of posthumanist ideas to Latinx, feminist, and literary studies, Shared Selves shows how memoir can encourage readers to think more broadly and deeply about what counts as human life.

"Shared Selves mines the Latinx archive by placing lesser-known texts into conversation with authors such as Ortiz Cofer and Rechy. A must-read for anyone interested in the variability of the life writing form and its continuing relevance for Latinx literary criticism."--David J. Vázquez, author of Triangulations: Narrative Strategies for Navigating Latino Identity

"I really admire this book! Suzanne Bost offers a reading of Latinx life writing that moves us all toward an elsewhere that transcends the humanistic individual and toward a sense of being that emphasizes webs of relations. This is necessary work that positions us to better encounter today’s ethical and material challenges, including the inequities of climate crisis."--Priscilla Solis Ybarra, author of Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment


Suzanne Bost is a professor of English at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of Encarnación: Illness and Body Politics in Chicana Feminist Literature and Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850-2000.

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