'Misery Loves Company': Sexual Trauma, Psychoanalysis and the Market for Misery [Book Review]

Journal of Medical Humanities 33 (2):61-81 (2012)
Abstract
This article examines sexual ‘misery memoirs’, focusing on author/reader and genre/market relationships in the context of models of trauma and child sexual abuse. It shows that the success of sexual ‘misery memoirs’ is inextricably bound up with the popular dissemination of a feminist-psychoanalytic model of traumatic memory that has taken place since the 1970s. It also argues that, as the ‘truth’ of recovered and traumatic memories has been fundamental to its success, anxieties about false memory and hoax ‘misery memoirs’ have posed a challenge to the genre and established a market for ‘retractor’ narratives.
Keywords Misery memoirs  False memory syndrome  Recovered memory  Trauma  Literary markets
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