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Le 'vrai' moi: Nancy Huston's Concern for Authenticity

Citation: Averis, Kate (2008) Le 'vrai' moi: Nancy Huston's Concern for Authenticity. Essays in French Literature and Culture, 45 . pp. 1-18. ISSN 1835-7040

Averis - Le vrai moi.pdf

Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

Nancy Huston, voluntarily exiled in France from her native Anglophone Canada, is constantly troubled by others’ perception of her displaced identity and her own presentation of her “real” identity. This article examines the way in which Huston situates herself within French culture and the French literary canon through the analysis of two of her nonfiction works, Lettres parisiennes: autopsie de l’exil (1986, in collaboration with Leïla Sebbar) and Nord perdu (1999). The analysis of the importance of childhood as key to Huston’s adult identity and the significance of the French language to her writing project and identity as a writer, is followed by the discussion of her right to claim belonging within the different aspects of her identity as French, Canadian, writer, and exile. The article concludes with a discussion of Huston’s notion of identity as constructed rather than inherent, the notion which lies at the root of her anxiety over the tension between imitation, and the authentic performance of identity

Additional Information: Article published in Essays in French Literature and Culture 45 (2008), pp. 1-18
Creators: Averis, Kate ( and
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Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Divisions: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing
  • 1 November 2008 (published)
  • 1 January 2008 (accepted)


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