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Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination [Paperback]

Annette Kuhn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

16 Sep 2002
Annette Kuhn's work as a theorist of culture has won her a wide reputation for dissecting film and other images in books like Women's Pictures and The Power of the Image. In Family Secrets, she turns her attention to the deconstruction of pictures closer to home--photographs from her own childhood and images from her shared ethnographic past--to trace a trajectory from personal to collective acts of memory.

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Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination + Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory + The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Gender and Culture Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (16 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859844065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844069
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


""An absorbing and beautiful book that reshapes the relations between feminism and cultural studies ... teaches us new ways of learning to make our own personal and collective histories."" -- Meaghan Morris ""An accessible, self-questioning, thoughtful book which takes one on a fascinating, labyrinthine journey from the family photograph album to filmic representations of the past."" -- Raphael Samuel "Khun... is one of those rare academics whose prose is a pleasure to read: clear, evocative and accessible." - New Statesman "Family Secrets is not only a poignant personal memoir, it is also an exemplary act of engaged cultural criticism. An influential reader of visual culture, a prominent feminist critic, an imaginative analyst of autobiographical and photographic texts, Khun provides the blueprint for interpreting the complicated stories we live by, stories whose tangled roots lie in our childhood, brilliantly connecting private history and public event, intimate memory and social theory, Annette Khun performs a tour de force." - Nancy K. Miller

About the Author

Annette Kuhn is Professor of Film Studies at Lancaster University, and an editor of the journal Screen. Her publications include Cinema, Censorship, and Sexuality, 1909 to 1925 and, most recently, An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait 9 Oct 2011
By crg
I had been waiting for aaaaages for this book to come up on Amazon as its out of print now and I had been longing for my own copy for years. Definitely worth the wait. Thanks Amazon!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Book About The Importance of Memory and Perception And The Things That Shape Our Lives 22 Sep 2008
By Sam I Am - Published on
The book has a thoughtful message about the images we see in other people's family photographs - not the casual Polaroid snapshots but the more formal sit-down, dressed up posed photos that we are most willing to share with people outside the family.

While Kuhn's book doesn't take a linear path through her life, and is at times extremely confusing, her strongest message to the reader is reminding us all of the images - in photographs and even in movies - that shape our lives and our perceptions. She writes about a movie she saw as a child, one that fascinated her greatly, and which resulted in the author growing up to become a noted film critic, historian and writer.

I enjoyed reading this because it made me more aware of the influences that shape all of our lives. Kuhn's own existence was defined by the time and place of her birth - in postwar England, her parents working-class, her mother sending her conflicting messages about the elite prep school her daughter was attending on a scholarship. Her mother understood that the end result of this education was that her child would outgrow her, achieve more in her life, and as a result, she would not be part of the working class.
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