Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
In Woman, Native, Other, Trinh T. Minh-ha has taken on an ambitious task, which is to explain something of the problems confronting non-Western women writers who publish and are subjected to critiques within the established paradigms of Western scholarly discourses. Must she and her fellows position themselves as "writer of color," "woman writer," or "woman of color," she asks, as she proceeds to display the boundaries others place upon their freedom to create their own realities and establish their distinctive voices. Whereas other women theorists of postcolonialism and feminism have challenged Western-conventions largely within the linguistic and stylistic conventions of the West, Trinh T. Minh-ha eschews neat generalizations to offer the flavor of the fragmentations, odd juxtapositions and dissonances which she perceives as inherent in her writers' efforts to explain themselves and their female worlds. This does not make for an easy read. It does, however, prick the bubble of Western -- above all, male Western -- complacency about their capacity to appropriate the forms for interpreting the lives of women of color, in terms which will hopefully elicit a salutary self-consciousness, mixed with shame in those who seriously address her densely-textured text.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1991