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Diane DeBella’s I Am Subject:
Sharing Our Truths to Reclaim Our Selves
As a teacher of writing and Women’s Studies, I have spent many years studying the lives and works of women writers. I Am Subject: Sharing our Truths to Reclaim Our Selves is a memoir that combines my own history with the words and experiences of other writers to examine the issues that perplex contemporary women. This work conveys women’s experiences by weaving together memoir, literary texts and criticism, and student reflection. Simply knowing that others have struggled can bring women out of isolated suffering to a deeper sense of awareness and understanding.
Our early interpersonal relationships, combined with the societal and cultural messages we receive, influence all of our subsequent actions, including our sexual experiences, our intimate relationships, our decision to have children or not have children, our career choices, and our tendency to deal with life’s challenges either constructively or destructively.
I Am Subject provides a safe space for women to increase their awareness regarding where they have come from and where they are going as they move forward into the next stages of their lives. It is my hope that those who read these words will sit with them, give thought to how they might apply to their own lives and the lives of women they know, and begin their own conversations regarding how to best turn increased awareness into action.
In her groundbreaking book, I Am Subject: Sharing Our Truths to Reclaim Our Selves, Diane DeBella tells her own story of escaping the objectification of women into truly claiming agency and authenticity by exploring the work of noted women authors, recounting her efforts to teach their works in a university setting, reflecting on her own life, and commenting on her students’ reactions and growth. Using authors ranging from the eighteenth century British writer Mary Wollestonecraft to modern day writers like Pam Houston, DeBella examines their lives and the issues they raise in their texts (ranging from relationships to mothering – or not – to family to career), then compares their struggles with her own in becoming “her own woman.” In turn, she challenges her students to consider what it takes to become “subjects” rather than objects in the 21st century. This empowering hybrid book is a must read for any woman of any age wishing to undergo her own self-actualization in every area of her life. I highly recommend it.
~ Amazon Review