Advertisement

Clever Girls pp 193-214 | Cite as

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  • Jan Bradford
Chapter

Abstract

Mum says I was always a good wee girl…but a clever wee girl too. I could read before I went to school. Teacher said I could read as well as any of the Primary 7 girls when I joined my Primary 1B classmates at a Scottish state primary school in a steadily declining mining town in the mid-1970s. But one day, when I am still only five years old, Teacher tells Mum she is worried about me. I have become very quiet—I am isolated. I no longer read fluently—I stutter. I no longer write—I struggle to hold a pencil in my hand. Mum and Teacher nod and agree…Yes…you can’t be too careful…there is a fine line between genius and madness…and she is such a good wee girl too… And so the well-told family story about my little ‘clever-good-girl’ self was born.

Keywords

Shame Birth stories Strong women Narrative inheritance Cixous 

References

  1. Abraham, N., & Torok, M. (1994). The Shell and the Kernel (Vol. 1). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bachelard, G. (1958/1994).The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1986). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Brockmann, B. (2017). Collecting Family Oral Histories in an Elementary Classroom: Shaping Stories as they Shape Us. In L. R. LLewellyn & N. Ng-A-Fooks (Eds.), Oral History and Education.Google Scholar
  5. Cixous, H. (1998). Stigmata: Escaping Texts. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Cixous, H. (2010). Writing Not Yet Thought. In A. Heathfield (Ed.), Performance Matters. London: Performance Matters.Google Scholar
  7. Cixous, H., & Calle-Gruber, M. (1997). Rootprints: Memory and Life Writing (E. Prenowitz, Trans. Vol. I). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Cixous, H., Cohen, K., & Cohen, D. (1976). The Laugh of the Medusa. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1, 4, 875–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Derrida, J. (1995). On the Name Redwood City, California: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Eakin, P. J. (Ed.). (2004). The Ethics of Life Writing. New York: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  11. Edwards, N. P. (2005). Birthing Autonomy: Women’s Experiences of Planning Home Births. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Forster, M. (1995). Hidden Lives: A Family Memoir. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  13. Goodall, H. L. J. (2005). Narrative Inheritance: A Nuclear Family with Toxic Secrets. Qualitative Inquiry, 11, 4, 492–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gordon, A. F. (2008). Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hanley, L. (2016). Respectable: The Experience of Class. UK: Penguin Random House.Google Scholar
  16. Hochschild, A. R. (2003). The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, P., Hagestad, G. O., & Diedrick, P. (1998). Family Stories: Events (Temporarily) Remembered. Journal of Marriage and Family, 50, 2, 533–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McLean, K. C. (2015). The Co-Authored Self: Family Stories and the Construction of Personal Identity Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pincus, L., & Dare, C. (1978). Secrets in the Family. London: Faber.Google Scholar
  20. Plummer, K. (2013). A Manifesto for Social Stories. In L. Stanley (Ed.), Documents of Life Revisited: Narrative and Biographical Methodology for a 21st Century Critical Humanism (pp. 209–220). Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  21. Pollock, D. (1999). Telling bodies: performing birth. New York: Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  22. Richardson, L. (1997). Fields of Play: Constructing an Academic Life. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Richardson, L. (2001). Getting personal: Writing-stories. Qualitative Studies in Education, 14, 1, 33–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Richardson, L., & St Pierre, E. A. (2018). Writing: A Method of Inquiry. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (Vol. 5, pp. 818–838). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  25. Skeggs, B. (1997). Formations of Class and Gender: Becoming Respectable. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Steedman, C. (1986). Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives. London: Virago Press.Google Scholar
  27. Synnott, A. (1993). The Body Social: Symbolism, Self and Society. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Tonkin, E. (1992). Narrating our Pasts (Vol. 22). Cambridge, New York and Australia: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Walkerdine, V., & Lucey, H. (1989). Democracy in the Kitchen: Regulating Mothers and Socialising Daughters. London: Virago Press.Google Scholar
  30. Williams, R. (1977). Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Winterson, J. (2001). Oranges are not the Only Fruit. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  32. Zerubavel, E. (2006). The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Bradford
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Health in Social ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations