‘The dark hollow of her pram’: a study of a mother’s grief and its public disclosure

Goss, Rebecca (2019) ‘The dark hollow of her pram’: a study of a mother’s grief and its public disclosure. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Though there have been many studies of the forms of autobiography, much less has been said of the costs, both personal and professional, of literary self-exposure. This thesis comprises a critical analysis of my poetry collection Her Birth, a genuine account of my daughter’s death and my period of bereavement, accompanied by a study of the consequences of self-disclosure particularly within a prize culture. I have taken what Adrienne Rich referred to as the ‘odd-fangled approach’ in her new introduction to the tenth anniversary edition of Of Woman Born. A decade after its publication, Adrienne Rich describes her book as ‘personal testimony mingled with research, and theory which derived from both’. Using a similar hybrid, I have developed the thesis in three ways. First, I have explored the composition of Her Birth as a study of bereavement addressing my reasons for writing the book. Secondly, I have studied the reception of Her Birth in the aftermath of the ‘success’ that followed the book’s prize nominations. Thirdly, I have explored the consequences of placing a personal narrative into the public sphere by reflecting on my own experiences and the experiences of three other female writers who have published prize-winning memoirs on the subject of grief: Cathy Rentzenbrink, Alice Jolly and Marion Coutts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Publication
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: James Tweddle
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 13:29
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2023 07:55
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/72199

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