Translating Pain: Immigrant Suffering in Literature and Culture

Translating Pain: Immigrant Suffering in Literature and Culture

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By Madelaine Hron
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2009
World Rights
320 Pages
ISBN 9781442612198
Published Oct 2010
Online discount: 25%
 $32.95    $24.71
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442693241
Published Oct 2010
Online discount: 24%
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In the post-Cold War, post-9/11 era, the immigrant experience has changed dramatically. Despite the recent successes of immigrant and world literatures, there has been little scholarship on how the hardships of immigration are conveyed in immigrant narratives. Translating Pain fills this gap by examining literature from Muslim North Africa, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe to reveal the representation of immigrant suffering in fiction.

Applying immigrant psychology to literary analysis, Madelaine Hron examines the ways in which different forms of physical and psychological pain are expressed in a wide variety of texts. She juxtaposes post-colonial and post-communist concerns about immigration, and contrasts Muslim world views with those of Caribbean creolité and post-Cold War ethics. Demonstrating how pain is translated into literature, she explores the ways in which it also shapes narrative, culture, history, and politics. A compelling and accessible study, Translating Pain is a groundbreaking work of literary and postcolonial studies.

Madelaine Hron is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Film at Wilfrid Laurier University.



PART ONE: Translating Immigrant Suffering

  1. Perversely Through Pain: Immigrants & Immigrant Suffering
  2. Suffering Matters: The Translation & Politics of Pain

PART TWO: Embodying Pain: Maghrebi Immigrant Texts

  1. Mal Partout: Body Rhetoric in Maghrebi Immigrant Fiction
  2. In The Maim of the Father: Disability & Bodies of Labor
  3. Putes Ni Soumises: Engendering Doubly-Oppressed Bodies
  4. Pathologically Sick?: Metaphors of Disease in Beur Texts

PART THREE: Affective Cultural Translation: Haitian Vodou

  1. Zombification: Hybrid Myth-Uses of Vodou from the West to Haiti
  2. Zombi-Fictions: Vodou Myth-Representations in Haitian Emigrant Fiction

PART FOUR: Silencing Suffering: The Czech Émigré Experience

  1. Painless?: The Exile & Return of the Czech Émigré
  2. The Suffering of Return: Painful Detours in Czech Postcommunist Fiction


Work Cited

'Madelaine Hron's insights into immigrant literature are fascinating. Translating Pain's unique and innovative perspective crosses linguistic, cultural, and national borders and takes an important step towards a more global understanding of the phenomenon of displacement. It is a must-read for students and scholars of immigrant literature and for those interested in broader social, cultural, and historical issues associated with immigrant populations.'

Andreea D. Ritivoi, Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University

'Combining humanistic scholarship with psychological research, Translating Pain significantly enhances our understanding of the emotional and mental processes accompanying the transition to a new culture. Madelaine Hron studies immigrant assimilation as a process of translation, neither romanticizing nor criticizing the migrant while providing deep insight into the processes of adaptation and self-transformation that migrants negotiate both with the new culture and within themselves.'

Alison Rice, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Notre Dame

'In this study of global immigrant writing, Madelaine Hron demonstrates remarkable critical and theoretical dexterity ... Hron has made an important entry into the fields of national and transnational literatures.'

Rebecca Babcock, The Dalhousie Review

'In today's cultural globalization, the translation of émigré experience in literature through the rhetoric of pain is a topic that needs to be revisited. Madelaine Hron's thought-provoking and insightful pioneering work is an important step in this direction ... Her wide-ranging scholarship and original analysis in Translating Pain will certainly assist the next student of this important subject.'

Mila Šašková-Pierce, KOSMAS: Czechoslovak and Central European Journal

Translating Pain is ground breaking in its breadth of study and choice of texts… This book will be useful to scholars of francophone and Czech literature as well as to those interested in the latest developments in trauma studies, affect theory, and migrant literature.’

Julie-Françoise Kruidenier, Slavic & East European Journal: vol 54:04:2010

Raymond Klibansky Prize shorlisted by ASPP (Canada) - Commended in 2010