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Book Cover
Author Miller, Christopher L., 1953- author

Title Impostors : literary hoaxes and cultural authenticity / Christopher L. Miller
Published Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2018


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 W'PONDS  098.3 Mil/Ilh  DUE 30-06-20
Description x, 240 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents Part 1. The land of the free and the home of the hoax -- Slave narratives and white lies -- The Forrest and The Tree -- Danny Santiago and the ethics of ethnicity -- Go ask Amazon -- "I never saw it as a hoax": JT Leroy -- Margaret B. Jones, Misha Defonseca, and "stolen suffering" -- Minority literature and postcolonial theory -- Part 2. French and francophone, fraud and fake -- What is a (French) author? -- The French paradox and the francophone problem -- The real, the romantic, and the fake in the nineteenth century -- The single-use hoax: Diderot's La Religieuse -- Merimee's Illyrical Illusions -- Bakary Diallo: fausse-bonte -- Elissa Rhais, literacy, and identity -- Sex and temperament in postwar hoaxing: Boris Vian and Raymond Queneau -- Did camara lie? two African classics between canonicity and oblivion -- Gary/Ajar: the hoaxing of the Goncourt prize and the making-cute of the Immigrant -- Who is Chimo? sex, lies, and death in the Banlieue -- Part 3. I can't believe it's not Beur: Jack-Alain Léger, Paul Smail, and Vivre Me Tue -- Before "Paul Smail" -- Vivre Ne Tue (living kills me, or smile) -- The popular press reads Vivre Me Tue -- Smail speaks (by fax) -- The Leak -- Did "Hundreds" of Readers Write to Paul Smaïl? -- Truth and Lies à la Léger -- The Scholars Weigh In -- Azouz Begag's Outrage and the Right to Write -- Reading: A Choice? -- The Parts He Played
Summary Writing a new page in the surprisingly long history of literary deceit, Impostors examines a series of literary hoaxes, deceptions that involved flagrant acts of cultural appropriation. This book looks at authors who posed as people they were not, in order to claim a different ethnic, class, or other identity. These writers were, in other words, literary usurpers and appropriators who trafficked in what Christopher L. Miller terms the "intercultural hoax." In the United States, such hoaxes are familiar. Forrest Carter's The Education of Little Tree and JT LeRoy's Sarah are two infamous examples. Miller's contribution is to study hoaxes beyond our borders, employing a comparative framework and bringing French and African identity hoaxes into dialogue with some of their better-known American counterparts. In France, multiculturalism is generally eschewed in favor of universalism, and there should thus be no identities (in the American sense) to steal. However, as Miller demonstrates, this too is a ruse: French universalism can only go so far and do so much. There is plenty of otherness to appropriate. This French and Francophone tradition of imposture has never received the study it deserves. Taking a novel approach to this understudied tradition, Impostors examines hoaxes in both countries, finding similar practices of deception and questions of harm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [183]-232) and index
Subject Literary forgeries and mystifications.
French literature -- History and criticism.
African literature (French) -- History and criticism.
American literature -- History and criticism.
Reading List ALJ722 recommended text 2019
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
LC no. 2018014121
ISBN 9780226590950 (hardcover) (alkaline paper)
022659095X (hardcover) (alkaline paper)
9780226591001 (paperback) (alkaline paper)
022659100X (paperback) (alkaline paper)