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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010008

Nostalgia, Motherhood, and Adoption: Two Contemporary Swedish Examples

Faculty of Education, Kristianstad University, SE-29188 Kristianstad, Sweden
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
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Abstract

This paper explores the notion of nostalgia in two recent Swedish narratives of transnational adoption: Christina Rickardsson’s Sluta aldrig gå, 2016, (published in English as Never Stop Walking in 2017), and Cilla Naumann’s Bära barnet hem (“Carrying the Child Home”, 2015). The two narratives deal with adoption from South America to Sweden, include autobiographical content, and enable a comparison between an adoptee memoir (Rickardsson) and a parent-authored text (Naumann). Both texts center on maternal images, but the analysis suggests that Rickardsson’s narrative echoes the borderland nostalgia characteristic of adoptee writing. The adoptee memoirs, being reflective in mode and restorative in purpose, occupy a borderland between the two forms of nostalgia described by Boym (2001), while interrogating the temporal, spatial and affiliative boundaries of transnational adoption. Naumann’s nostalgic enterprise incorporates the mirrors, doubles and ghosts of reflective nostalgia. These representations are a fruitful means to represent the “other” family, and the alternative lives that were left behind in the process of adoption. Ultimately, her text suggests the limitations of the autobiographical mode and illustrates the capacity of fiction to provide a symbolic register in which to articulate the unspeakable aspects of adoption. View Full-Text
Keywords: transnational adoption; nostalgia; motherhood; autobiography; Naumann; Rickardsson transnational adoption; nostalgia; motherhood; autobiography; Naumann; Rickardsson
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ahlin, L. Nostalgia, Motherhood, and Adoption: Two Contemporary Swedish Examples. Humanities 2019, 8, 8.

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