Stories of cross-dressing and the body : family memories in fiction

Van Luyn, Ariella (2011) Stories of cross-dressing and the body : family memories in fiction. In Oral History Association of Australia Conference, 7-9 October 2011, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne. (Unpublished)


Ruth Finnegan (2006, 179) describes how family myths have the power to provoke images that recur throughout generations. This paper will document my own encounter with such persistent images in the stories of a mother and daughter. Both mother and daughter told stories about encountering cross-dressing men in the streets of Brisbane, and both showed similar anxiety over their own body size. As a creative writer working with oral histories, I found these stories of the disguised body compelling. By drawing on the storytelling strategies and preoccupations present in the interview, I used imagination and fictional techniques to investigate the possibility of symbolic resonance of memories across generations.

In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987) uses the notion of ‘rememory’ to describe how characters actively make and suppress meanings in their recollections. Like Morrison, my writing speaks to notions around the way stories are remembered and told.

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ID Code: 50818
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: creative writing, oral history, Toni Morrison, memory
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Ariella Van Luyn
Deposited On: 07 Jun 2012 23:03
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 23:55

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