Writing life and baking bread : Beth Brant's multiple identities in Writing as witness

Title: Writing life and baking bread : Beth Brant's multiple identities in Writing as witness
Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2008, vol. 6, iss. [1], pp. 19-28
  • ISSN
    1213-7715 (print)
    2336-4556 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This paper examines the writings of the First Nations author Beth Brant, particularly her collection of critical and personal essays Writing As Witness (1994). Brant inscribes in her texts her multiple identities as an Indigenous writer, a Mohawk woman, and a lesbian feminist, representing sometimes conflicting, sometimes affirming intersections of ethnicity/race, gender, sexuality and religion. In addition, Brant's narrative strategies in the multi-generic pieces interweave her personal observations on her own life, on First Nations literature and history, on important concepts in First Nations spiritual existence, and on the contested positions that Native women occupy in contemporary Canadian society. Finally, the paper points to Brant's contribution to feminist discourse on women's sexuality and lesbian identity through her elaboration on the concept of Two–Spiritedness. I suggest that this particular collection promotes a specific writing style in the genre of personal non-fiction and life writing, which has recently gained popularity among Indigenous women writers.
Cet article examine l'œuvre de Beth Brant, l'auteur canadienne autochtone, en se penchant sur son recueil d'essais critiques et personnels Writing As Witness (1994). Dans ces textes Beth Brant inscrit ses identités multiples en tant qu'écrivain indigène, Mohawk et féministe lesbienne en y représentant des croisements soit contradictoires, soit affirmatifs de la race/ethnique, du sexe, de la sexualité et de la réligion. En plus, ses stratégies narratives dans les textes multigénériques associent les observations personnelles de sa vie, autant de la littérature que de l'histoire des premières nations, des concepts importants de l'existence spirituelle des premières nations et des positions disputées que les femmes autochtones tiennent dans la société canadienne de nos jours. Finalement, l'article fait voir la contribution de l'auteur au discours féministe sur la sexualité féminine et l'identité lesbienne par l'intermédiaire de l'élaboration du concept de "deux esprits". Je soutiens quece recueil particulier promeut un style d'écriture particulier dans le genre des ouvrages généraux et ceux de "life writing" (l'écriture de la vie) qui ont gagné la popularité parmi les auteurs indigènes féminines.
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