A Literary Inquiry into Disability, Trauma and Narrative Strategies in Lisa Genova’s Novels
Keywords:Trauma, Trauma Theory, Narrative devices, Genre, Novel, Pathography, Science Fiction, Medicine and Literature
The reaisltic illustration of central characters suffering from rare and severe neurological sicknesses in Lisa Genova’s novels provide an ideal prospect to study trauma in pathography novels, a subset of science fiction. However, despite its scope, these genres of novels have received little consideration in American literary trauma studies. This paper will present a new analysis of trauma in relationship to the ‘neuro’genre, followed by an analysis of narrative and literary devices employed by the author to illustrate traumatic episodes in her novels. Through this case study and critical reflection of how the author has engaged trauma in the novels supports strengthening literary trauma theory within trauma literature and the genre also. The writing of traumatic experiences of the victims, transformed identity, stigmas, fears and phobias and providing face to the sufferer doomed fate, offers an opportunity for a neuroscientist turned novelist like Lisa Genova to advocate about the neurological sicknesses and its suffering with enriched empathetic experience to the non-scientific societies. It also provides a balanced realistic narrative platform for the reader to reflect on their own uncertainties, brought on by the representation of such fictional characterization. This literary research analysis will provide scope to science fiction authors, particularly those aiming to engage with medicine and literature, for a more accurate depiction of trauma in their work. It will further broaden the scope of research in phenomenology, narrative and genre theories and criticism in literary studies.
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