Revisiting Vietnam, locating home in Kim Lefevre's Retour à la saison des pluies

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Abstract:

The present study focuses on Kim Lefevre's sequel to Métisse Blanche (1989), Retour à la saison des pluies (1990). The text is centred around a diasporic migrant's 'travel project' to return to Vietnam. The sense of place as dwelling becomes an overpowering element in a narrative that renews the theme of continual geographical dislocations characterizing Kim Lefevre's childhood and adolescence in Vietnam. This paper explores the migrant writer's predicament of displacement/emplacement in terms of the complexities that weave together issues relating to gender, language, place and history. Retour à la saison des pluies, a self-consciously gendered narrative of return, demystifies the conventions that define 'home'. As a 'world author' writing in French, Kim Lefevre creates alternative paradigms that represent her geographical, linguistic and cultural displacements through creative and self-reflexive literary techniques.

Keywords: EXILE; FRANCOPHONE LITERATURE; HOME; MÉ MIGRANT WRITER; TISSAGE; TWENTIETH CENTURY; VIETNAM; WOMEN WRITERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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