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Transformation Now!Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change$
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AnaLouise Keating

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037849

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037849.001.0001

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From Self-Help to Womanist Self-Recovery

From Self-Help to Womanist Self-Recovery

or, How Paula Gunn Allen Changed My Mind

Chapter:
(p.145) Chapter Five From Self-Help to Womanist Self-Recovery
Source:
Transformation Now!
Author(s):

AnaLouise Keating

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037849.003.0005

This chapter reads mainstream “New Age” self-help literature in dialogue with women-of-colors narratives and proposes a new genre called “womanist self-recovery.” Womanist self-recovery represents a contemporary transcultural project with several characteristics: the transgression of conventional literary genres, the visionary belief in language's performative power, and the use of non-western cultural traditions to develop inclusionary multicultural communities. The chapter develops this genre by retracing a troubled engagement with Paula Gunn Allen's Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook, and then redefining it as womanist self-recovery. It argues that womanist self-recovery creates communally based, multicultural transformation narratives—stories of self-empowerment that begin with the personal but move outward to encourage and facilitate collective change, stories that synthesize self-love and self-reflection with the quest for social justice.

Keywords:   mainstream New Age, self-help literature, women-of-colors, womanist self-recovery, literary genres, inclusionary multicultural communities, multicultural transformation

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