Reveries of the Wild Woman

Paper Text – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2363-2
Publication Date
May 2006
Page Count
104 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Reveries of the Wild Woman

Primal Scenes
Helene Cixous
All the time when I lived in Algeria, my native country,
I dreamt of one day arriving in Algeria.

Born in Oran, Algeria, Helene Cixous spent her childhood in France's former colony. Reveries of the Wild Woman is her visceral account of a preadolescence that shaped her with intense feelings of alienation, yet also contributed, in a paradoxically essential way, to her development as a writer and philosopher.

Born to a French father and an Austro-German mother, both Jews, Cixous experienced a childhood fraught with racial and gender crisis. In her moving story she recounts how small events-a new dog, the gift of a bicycle-reverberate decades later as symbols filled with social and psychological meaning. She and her family endure a double alienation, by Algerians for being French and by the French for being Jewish, and Cixous builds her story on the themes of isolation and exclusion she felt in particular under the Vichy government and during the Algerian Civil War. Yet she also concedes that memories of Algeria awaken in her a longing for her home country, and ponders how that stormy relationship has influenced her life and thought.

A meditation on postcolonial identity and gender, Reveries of the Wild Woman is also a poignant recollection of how a girl's childhood is, indeed, author to the woman.

About the Author

Hélène Cixous is a French writer, feminist philosopher, playwright, critic, and activist who continues to influence writers, scholars, and feminists around the world. Her recent works include Reveries of the Wild Woman (Northwestern, forthcoming), The Third Body (Northwestern, 1999), Veils (with Jacques Derrida) (Stanford, 2001), Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint (Columbia, 2003), and The Writing Notebooks of Hélène Cixous (Continuum, 2004).

Beverley Bie Brahic is also the translator of Hélène Cixous's The Day I Wasn't There.

"Cixous gives the reader a rich, complex and poetic example of her command of language."--Lilith