Life-Writing, Testimony and Biographical Fiction

Tickell, Alex (2019). Life-Writing, Testimony and Biographical Fiction. In: Tickell, Alex ed. The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The Novel in South and South East Asia since 1945, Volume 10. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 428–442.



This chapter (chapter 29 of the Oxford History of the Novel in English Vol 10, The Novel in South and South East Asia since 1945) examines life-writing, memoir, and testimony as literary forms that parallel, and sometimes merge with, the anglophone novel of South East Asia and China (and identifies Jung Chang’s Wild Swans as a key work of this tradition). The majority of these writings focus on a single period in China’s modern history: the cataclysmic social upheaval of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–76), but this chapter also covers memoirs of those who experienced the Second World War in South East Asia and also reviews survivor testimony in English by writers from Myanmar and Cambodia.

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