Added: August 1, 2015 – Last updated: August 1, 2015


Author: Marinella Rodi-Risberg

Title: Trauma and its resolution in Jane Smiley's novel A Thousand Acres

Subtitle: -

In: Reconstructing Pain and Joy: Linguistic, Literary, and Cultural Perspectives

Edited by: Chryssoula Lascaratou, Anna Despotopoulou, and Elly Ifantidou

Place: Newcastle

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Year: 2008

Pages: 195-208

ISBN-10: 1847185193 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9781847185198 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Offenders: Fathers Representations: Literature / Jane Smiley; Types: Child Sexual Abuse; Victims: Daughters, Trauma


Link: -


Abstract: »Weakness to react to traumatic pain is also portrayed in Marinella Rodi-Risberg’s present analysis of Jane Smiley’s novel, A Thousand Acres, which charts the difficult course of coming to terms with incestuous child abuse. Through a careful reading of the novel, and moving within the recently much researched field of trauma studies, Rodi-Risberg argues that Smiley’s work calls attention to the significance of personal and social change through acceptance of the pain suffered. In line with Dominick LaCapra’s work on trauma, the article examines the heroine’s process of “working through,” where the body passes from a state of absence and numbness to re-enactment. The body is seen as the site of the repressed memory of sexual abuse, which, once brought to the surface, may instigate repetition of the trauma, through a performance of abuse on another victim.« (Anna Despotopoulou, Elly Ifantidou, and Chryssoula Lascaratou. »Introduction. Tracking Pain and Joy: Breaching Boundaries, Bridging Fields.« Reconstructing Pain and Joy: Linguistic, Literary, and Cultural Perspectives. Edited by Chryssoula Lascaratou et al. Newcastle 2008: 7-8)

Wikipedia: Jane Smiley: A Thousand Acres