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Special Collection

Life Writing and European Identities

Collection launched: 22 Jan 2019
This special issue explores the relations between life writing and Europe. It is the result of a conference on this topic, held in honour of A.S. Byatt who received the 2016 Erasmus Prize for her contribution to life writing. As a whole, this issue showcases that the relatively new and flourishing field of ‘life writing studies’ opens up many vistas for examining how auto/biographical narratives articulate ideas, imaginations and experiences of Europe, whether to express identification or to open up a space for critical reflection. Focusing on contemporary forms of life writing, ranging from literary experiments and digital selfies to more traditional memoirs, the contributions to this issue analyse how people locate themselves and others in European history and how they relate to the continent culturally, geographically and politically. Altogether they expose how life writing is a multifaceted cultural practice that can help reveal the multitude of different ways Europe is perceived and addressed in the present-day.