Leaves from the motherbook

Ioana Luca*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This essay discusses Susan Rubin Suleiman's Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherbook (1996) in relation to two of her critical works, Risking Who One Is: Encounters With Contemporary Art and Literature (1994) and Crisis of Memory and the Second World War (2006), reading the memoir from the perspective of her literary and cultural criticism. I argue that the writing of her memoir and the examination of her experience as a Holocaust survivor, first, and as an Eastern European returning to her native country, second, offer Suleiman a radical change in her orientation as a literary critic. The article maps the itinerary of her literary criticism and illustrates how her autobiographical project is characterized by preterition, "the paradoxical combination of 'saying while not saying'" that comes with "its attendant figures of suspension, postponement, digression, juxtaposition, and metacommentary."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalProse Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec


  • 1.5 generation
  • Eastern Europe
  • Holocaust survivor
  • Susan Rubin Suleiman
  • academic autobiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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