Children of Horror in Laura Fish’s Strange Music
Keywords:neo-slave narrative, motherline, disconnection, black women
Laura Fish’s Strange Music is a novel depicting the lives of three different women who are traumatized and disconnected from their children through the lasting effects of slavery. The slave system as well as the oppressive white patriarchal aftermaths confine Elizabeth, Kaydia, and Sheba in such a way that they are not able to gain motherly guidance and support. As a result, the perspective of all three protagonists towards their children changes dramatically. This article intends to focus on the importance of the motherline, its disconnection, and the consequences with a close analysis of Laura Fish’s Strange Music.
Caruth, Cathy. Literature in the Ashes of History. Johns Hopkins UP, 2013.
Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History. Johns Hopkins UP, 1996.
Croisille, Valérie. Black American Women’s Voices and Transgenerational Trauma: Re(-)membering in Neo-Slave Narratives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021.
Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2000.
Collins, Patricia Hill. “Shifting the Center: Race, Class, and Feminist Theorizing about Motherhood.” Mothering: Ideology, Experience, and Agency, edited by Evelyn Nakano Glenn, et al., Routledge, 1994, pp. 45–66.
Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race, and Class. Random House, 1981.
DeGruy, Joy. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. New and rev. ed., DeGruy, 2017.
Edwards, Arlene E. “Community Mothering: The Relationship Between Mothering and the Community Work of Black Women.” Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, vol. 2, no. 2, 2000, pp. 1–14.
Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub. Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History. Routledge, 1992.
Fish, Laura. Strange Music. Random House, 2008.
Griffiths, Jennifer L. Traumatic Possessions: The Body and Memory in African American Women’s Writing and Performance. U of Virginia P, 2010.
Heilmann, Ann, and Mark Llewellyn. Neo-Victorianism: The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999–2009. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, doi:10.4000/cve.2644.
Kamali, Leila. The Cultural Memory of Africa in African American and Black British Fiction,1970–2000: Specters of the Shore. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, doi:10.1057/978-1-137-58171-6.
Lima, Maria Helena. “A Written Song: Andrea Levy’s Neo-Slave Narrative.” Special issue on Andrea Levy of Enter Text, vol. 9, 2012, pp. 135–53.
López Ramírez, Manuela. “What you Do to Children Matters: Toxic Motherhood in Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child,” The Grove: Working Papers on English Studies, vol. 22, 2015, pp. 107‒19. doi:10.17561/grove.v0i22.2700.
Lowinsky, Ruth Naomi. The Motherline: Every Woman’s Journey to Find her Female Roots. Fisher King Press, 2009.
Inman, W. S. An Essay on Symbolic Colours, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times, from the French of Frédérick Portal. George Woodfall, 1845.
Motz, Anna. The Psychology of Female Violence: Crimes against the Body. Routledge, 2008.
O’Reilly, Andrea. Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart. State U of New York P, 2004.
Pipes, Candice Linette. It’s Time to Tell: Abuse, Resistance and Recovery in Black Women’s Literature. 2010. Ohio State University, PhD dissertation.
Richardson, Jill Toliver. The Afro-Latin@ Experience in Contemporary American Literature and Culture: Engaging Blackness. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31921-6.
Smith, Merril D. Encyclopedia of Rape. Greenwood Press, 2004.
Vickroy, Laurie. Trauma and Survival in Contemporary Fiction. U of Virginia P, 2002.
Zapata, Beatriz Pérez. Zadie Smith and Postcolonial Trauma: Decolonising Trauma, Decolonising Selves. Routledge, 2021, doi:10.4324/ 9781003187387.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors retain publishing rights and grant ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies right of first publication.
Simultaneously, all articles and reviews published in ES Review until nº 43 are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) while those published from nº 44 onwards will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), by which others are allowed to share and use their work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
In addition, ES Review allows authors to arrange additional contracts for the non-exclusive publication of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. In such a case, authors are required to approach the editor(s)/publisher to request permission.