Defective Inspectors: Crime Fiction Pastiche in Late-Twentieth-Century French Literature
Simon Kemp
Legenda (General Series) 5 September 2006

  • ‘A detailed and compelling analysis... This is a lucidly executed, perceptive and celebratory exploration of postmodern pastiche that clearly demonstrates the wealth of interest for narrative analysis that lies implicit within its comic absurdities, and Kemp assembles his own readings with the kind of rigour and conviction (and occasionally, humour) of which any great master detective could be proud.’ — Victoria Best, French Studies 505-06

Consuming Autobiographies: Reading and Writing the Self in Post-War France
Claire Boyle
Legenda (General Series) 14 November 2007

  • ‘Perhaps the most effective chapter is on Genet’s Miracle de la rose, Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, and Journal du voleur, where resistance to a subjectification threatened by both social and literar y institutions (the prison and the confessional mode, respectively) is sought by tactics of abjection geared (not entirely successfully, Boyle argues) towards thwarting readerly identification.’ — Ian Maclachlan, Modern Language Review 104.4 (2009), 1154-55 (full text online)
  • ‘Attempts at writing autobiographies in the second half of the twentieth century, Claire Boyle shows in her concise, precise and deftly argued essay, have been subject to a curious paradox... The discrediting of autobiographical attempts has been paralleled by an increasing demand for first-person testimony narratives.’ — Karlis Racevskis, French Review 82.5, April 2009, 1065
  • ‘Une épreuve de force: le moi autobiographique, est-il contrôlé par l'autobiographe estimant que ce moi ne peut pas être entièrement connu, ou par le lecteur qui le 'consomme' afin de pouvoir s'identifier avec une personne supposée réelle?’ — Jeanette den Toonder, French Studies 65.2, April 2011, 269
  • ‘Boyle’s thoughtful and sophisticated study of autobiography brings an original focus on the role of the reader, and on the ways in which readers are interpellated and caricatured by, or even excluded from, certain forms of autobiographical writing... If we had thought that autobiography had had its day, Boyle demonstrates both that the genre itself is dynamic in ways we might not have previously imagined, and that the theory of autobiography continues to evolve in challenging and provocative ways.’ — Jane Hiddleston, Biography 31.4, Fall 2008, 763-65
  • ‘This is a well researched and broad-ranging work, and is a useful discussion of the survival of the autobiographical impulse despite the critical death of traditional autobiography... a stimulating study, which lucidly applies key theoretical concepts of 20th century French thought.’ — Dervila Cooke, Modern and Contemporary France 17.1, 2009, 83-121

Memory Across Borders: Nabokov, Perec, Chamoiseau
Sara-Louise Cooper
Transcript 619 December 2016

  • ‘Sara-Louise Cooper’s stimulating monograph convincingly approaches three writers whose lives and careers may at first seem disparate, and brings them together under the banner of border crossings, inter-generational memory, and its transmission.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, April 2018, 265
  • ‘Cooper’s approach encompasses a range of critical discussions, yet her incisive close reading of each author remains central. The book will be useful to students and scholars of any of the three authors, and to those interested in the concept of mobility more widely. Cooper’s future contributions are much anticipated.’ — Fabienne Cheung, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 475-76
  • ‘A meticulous and finely drawn study, highlighting the links in the three works between histories of self and wider histories, and the presence of multiple language and cultural affiliations in a single text... At the end of the work, the author makes a convincing plea not only for the richness to be found in comparative studies, but also for the recognition by French Studies of the constitutive force of movement and of different languages and places within and outside literature written in French.’ — Siobhan Brownlie, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 855-56 (full text online)
  • ‘This monograph, the sixth to appear in Legenda’s exciting new “Transcript” series, is an ambitious and searching work, which fully realises the imprint’s commitment to intercultural and trans-linguistic analysis... This is a beautifully written and elegantly produced monograph, in which stimulating and sensitive close readings are enriched by a deftly handled theoretical apparatus. It is also an important book that opens out onto discussion of much broader themes of urgent contemporary significance: national identity, migration, universalism, francophonie... A significant intervention for those working in memory studies, autobiography, comparative literature and transnational French Studies.’ — Maeve McCusker, H-France 18.201, October 2018