"Other" Autobiographies: Automythography as Alternative Memoir
Audre Lorde coined the term "biomythography" for her innovative fictionalized memoir, but her work actually appeared almost a decade after a similarly surreal auobiography, Maxine Hong Kingston's _The Woman Warrior_. Other memoirs share the integration of mythic and quotidian, the non-linear chronology, and the blurred line separating fact and fiction that these two texts exemplify. As cultural outsiders, Kingston, Lorde, and others mark a new autobiographical territory--as their lives break the boundaries of acceptable behavior within their cultures, their writing also breaks the form of traditional autobiography, forming a new mode that is shared by others of non-hegemonic status (whether that designation is conferred due to sexuality, race, gender, class, or intersections of these categories): the automythography.
Keywords: Autobiography, Memoir, Identity, Ethnicity, Sexuality, Culture
Dr. Karen Weekes
Assistant Professor, English & Women's Studies, Penn State University, Abington College