This book is a timely study of young women's life writing as a form of human rights activism. It focuses on six young women who suffered human rights violations when they were girls and have gone on to become activists through life writing: Malala Yousafzai, Hyeonseo Lee, Yeonmi Park, Bana Alabed, Nujeen Mustafa, and Nadia Murad. Their ongoing life-writing projects diverge to some extent, but all share several notable features: they claim a testimonial collective voice, they deploy rights discourse, they excite humanitarian emotions, they link up their context-bound plight with bigger social justice causes, and they use English as their vehicle of self-expression and self-construction. This strategic use of English is of vital importance, as it has brought them together as icons in the public sphere within the last six years. New Forms of Self-Narration is the first ever attempt to explore all these activists' life-writing texts side by side, encompassing both the written and the audiovisual material, online and offline, and taking all texts as belonging to a unique, single, though multifaceted, project.
Ana Belén Martínez García researches human rights life writing by young women activists at the University of Navarra, Spain. She is a member of the International Auto/Biography Association, the IABA-SNS (Students and New Scholars) Network, AEDEAN (Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies), and ISSN (International Society for the Study of Narrative).