The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility

Paperback
Adoption has a special relationship to fiction-making, and tends to generate stories rather than uncover bedrock truths. Adoptive families are made, not born; in the words of novelist Jeanette Winterson, adopted children are self-invented because we have to be. The Imprint of Another Life: Adoption Narratives and Human Possibility shows some of the ways in which literary creation and a concept of adoption as a form of creativity make available new ways of thinking about adoption and what it means to be human. Underlying common beliefs about adoption, argues Margaret Homans, is the assumption that human qualities are innate and intrinsic, anassumption often held by adoptees and their families, sometimes at great emotional cost. This book explores representations of adoption - transracial, transnational, and domestic same-race adoption - that reimagine human possibility by questioning this assumption and conceiving of alternatives. The author explores a wide variety of worksranging from Silas Marner to Disney's Mulan, including fiction, memoir, drama, documentary films, advice manuals, social science writing, andinterviews, to shed light on these questions.