In this book, Author Katharine N. Harrington examines contemporary writers from the French-speaking world who can be classified as literary “nomads.” The concept of nomadism, based on the experience of traditionally mobile peoples lacking any fixed home, reflects a postmodern way of thinking that encourages individuals to reconsider rigid definitions of borders, classifications, and identities. Nomadic identities reflect shifting landscapes that defy taking on fully the limits of any one fixed national or cultural identity. In conceiving of identities beyond the boundaries of national or cultural origin, this book opens up the space for nomadic subjects whose identity is based just as much on their geographical displacement and deterritorialization as on a relationship to any one fixed place, community, or culture. This study explores the experience of an existence between borders and its translation into writing that.
While nomadism is frequently associated with post-colonial authors, this study considers an eclectic group of contemporary Francophone writers who are not easily defined by the boundaries of one nation, one culture, or one language. Each of the four writers, J.M.G. LeClézio, Nancy Huston, Nina Bouraoui, and Régine Robin maintains a connection to France, but it is one that is complicated by life experiences, backgrounds, and choices that inevitably expand their identities beyond the Hexagon. Harrington examines how these authors’ life experiences are reflected in their writing and how they may inform us on the state of our increasingly global world where borders and identities are blurred.