The essays in this volume discuss narrative strategies employed by international writers when dealing with rape and sexual violence, whether in fiction, poetry, memoir, or drama. In developing these new feminist readings of rape narratives, the contributors aim to incorporate arguments about trauma and resistance in order to establish new dimensions of healing. This book makes a vital contribution to the fields of literary studies and feminism, since while other volumes have focused on retroactive portrayals of rape in literature, to date none has focused entirely on the subversive work that is being done to retheorize sexual violence.

Split into four sections, the volume considers sexual violence from a number of different angles. 'Subverting the Story' considers how the characters of the victim and rapist might be subverted in narratives of sexual violence. In 'Metaphors for Resistance,' the essays explore how writers approach the subject of rape obliquely using metaphors to represent their suffering and pain. The controversy of not speaking about sexual violence is the focus of 'The Protest of Silence,' while 'The Question of the Visual' considers the problems of making sexual violence visible in the poetic image, in film and on stage. These four sections cover an impressive range of world writing which includes curriculum staples like Toni Morrison, Sarah Kane, Sandra Cisneros, Yvonne Vera, and Sharon Olds.

chapter 1|20 pages


Feminism without Borders: The Potentials and Pitfalls of Re-theorizing Rape
ByZoë Brigley Thompson, Sorcha Gunne

part I|47 pages

Subverting the Story

chapter 2|15 pages

Rape by Proxy in Contemporary Caribbean Women's Fiction

ByCarine M. Mardorossian

chapter 3|16 pages

Sabotaging the Language of Pride

Toni Morrison's Representations of Rape
ByTessa Roynon

chapter 4|14 pages

Revising Chicana Womanhood

Gender Violence in Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street 1
ByRobin E. Field

part II|45 pages

Resistance Metaphors

chapter 5|14 pages

Between ‘Awra and Arab Literary Feminism

Sexual Violence and Representational Crisis in Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero
ByAnna Ball

chapter 6|11 pages

Writing Rape

The Politics of Resistance in Yvonne Vera's Novels
ByFiona McCann

chapter 7|18 pages


Sexual Violence, Mental Health and Resisting Abjection in Camilla Gibb's Mouthing the Words and Elizabeth Ruth's Ten Good Seconds of Silence 1
BySusan Billingham

part III|66 pages

The Protest of Silence

chapter 8|13 pages

Testimony and Silence

Sexual Violence and the Holocaust
ByZoë Waxman

chapter 9|16 pages

‘Mum Is the Word'

Gender Violence, Displacement and the Refugee Camp in Yasmin Ladha's Documentary-Fiction
ByBelén Martín-Lucas

chapter 10|18 pages

Double Violation?

(Not) Talking about Sexual Violence in Contemporary South Asia
ByAnanya Jahanara Kabir

chapter 11|17 pages

Questioning Truth and Reconciliation

Writing Rape in Achmat Dangor's Bitter Fruit and Kagiso Lesego Molope's Dancing in the Dust 1
BySorcha Gunne

part IV|51 pages

The Question of the Visual

chapter 12|17 pages

Signifying Rape

Problems of Representing Sexual Violence on Stage
ByLisa Fitzpatrick

chapter 13|17 pages

The Wound and the Mask

Rape, Recovery and Poetry in Pascale Petit's The Wounded Deer: Fourteen Poems after Frida Kahlo
ByZoë Brigley Thompson

chapter 14|15 pages

Rape, Power, Realism and the Fantastic on Television 1

ByLorna Jowett