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Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  745 ratings  ·  31 reviews
... methodologically innovative... precise and perceptive and conscious... " --Text and Performance Quarterly

Woman, Native, Other is located at the juncture of a number of different fields and disciplines, and it genuinely succeeds in pushing the boundaries of these disciplines further. It is one of the very few theoretical attempts to grapple with the writings of women of
Paperback, 173 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Indiana University Press (first published 1989)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Had to read the first chapter for one of my classes: when it was time to discuss it in said class only one snide comment of "how am I supposed to get her point if I can't understand her writing" was needed to awaken a crowd of angry classmates with knives drawn, hungry for blood. I was taken completely aback—out of all possible critiques this is one I quite frankly hadn't expected, this is grad school, for heaven's sake!—and finally, admittedly feebly, offered up the remark that within the conte ...more
Ayanna Dozier
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Trinh T. Minh-ha's writing is an embodied practice that is to say Min-ha writes from her specific standpoint position in society. Minh-ha argues that feminism needs to make room for cultural, racial, national, and gender differences. She, like many "intersectional" feminists, believes that carrying the "sign" of woman should not be used as a universal "sameness." Minh-ha contends that differences amongst individuals who identify feminists must make room to speak out against hegemonic power relat ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. It took me a little while to get the hang of her writing style, but once I did, I truly appreciated her creative and unique prose.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Re-read this book after years since my first read in college and loved it more than ever. I purposefully took it slow, enjoying Minh-ha's every poetic word and circling around the critical concepts with a more mature mind. And while some of the ideas could use some updating, it's a theoretical text I could read again and again. ...more
Naz Anais
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The way in which Minh-ha composes is now a demonstration of Derridean deconstruction in which she obscures the limits between so-called scholarly and abstract written work styles. She utilizes graceful dialect to pass on the free play of significance without sticking to the strict account structures of formal study. Woman, Native, Other is situated at the point of various distinctive fields and disciplines, and it really succeeds in pushing the limits of these disciplines further. It is one of t ...more
Isaiah Hines
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. This book was absolutely incredible and I know it will prove to be formative in my future writing and academic work :) Minh-ha's distinctly antidisciplinary approach to writing is beautiful and delightfuLly challenging to read. Her careful practice of weaving in and out of poetry and theory to prose and images established a elegant fluidity within her work. I loved that I would often find myself rereading certain passages or pages and finding an entirely new meaning that I hadn't gained the ...more
Navreet Dhaliwal
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Minh-ha has a wonderfully engaging writing style that both makes the reader feel as though they're part of a discussion and challenges them to answer questions she brings forth. This book is particularly helpful for anyone who has a strong interest in post-colonialism and would like an entry point into writing within that framework. Minh-ha presents a well researched narrative that is illuminating in how contemporary it is, but also humbling and appreciative of her predecessor ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What. A. Book. Necessary reading for all, especially those looking to understand intersectionality to a greater extent.

Although the style of writing is a bit difficult to get used to (quotes and I/i etc are frequent), perseverance leads to experiencing a really wonderful and interesting book.
Anthony Moll
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important books I've ever read. ...more
Cori Ready
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i'm a legit Trinh T. Minh-ha fanatic. Loved this work and love her films. ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Breaks literary boundaries and expectations. Delight, whimsy, philosophy for those who don't care what others think. Womanist narrative par excellence. ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
So confusing.
Selby Cole
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I/i have read in my life
Ella Louise Schalski
Read for school.
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it
2020 Reading Challenge - A book with a three-word title
Dean Jorgensen
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
Another reviewer posted the following as a negative review: "no words". I feel the same, but change it to a non-negative; this text is in the realm of my own not understanding, but there is strength in the words that I am not sure I understand. Is this poetry, a novel, literary criticism...maybe it is all of that, as a story, an important one. ...more
Erdem Tasdelen
This is quite a scattered text, and although it revolves around the same ideas it is structurally disjointed. Its wit and at times attacking qualities make it a solid performative work, but its content is lacking in a way that I can not pinpoint.
One is face to face with a constructed binarism (thinking Sedgwick here) where the "other" is made into an "another" by "difference". Minh-ha criticises the "white male anthropologist", in that he wants to gain knowledge about "the other" which he makes
Stacey Rice
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: womens-studies
This book is very dense but once you get to the third chapter of the book you get a better sense of what it is she is trying to convey.
Isabelle Ouyang
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Minh-Ha's writing style can at first take some getting used to. At first, her writing felt a little like waxing poetic, but the book reveals itself to be very substantive in no time at all.
I haven't read that much theory, so I didn't know what to expect when I first started it. The post-colonial angle caught my eye, especially as an Asian American girl.
I wasn't disappointed-- a very insightful read that covered a broader range of topics than I thought it would.
The book is divided into four secti
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Difficult to read if you are expecting a classic second wave feminist text, but that is precisely the point. Cyclically written, with a loopy (literally) logic to it, a great step into the brave new world of Post-Colonial Feminism for the uninitiated. Also a perfectly lovely read for those of us who are already there.
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See especially "Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box" and "Grandma's Story". ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"difference" always makes me feel like i am swimming. ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
read for feminist theory class...a great balance to all the other european/french theory u have to read
Linda Le
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
i have been browsing and skimming this book since 2006! haha
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review published in Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature 17.1 (1993): 157-160.
Sara Salem
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very powerful book. The best critique of anthropology I have read so far.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Difficult read, but once you understand the style you realize what a lovely, sarcastic, angry, rational, and beautiful book it is.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thesis
Important postcolonial book and where my shift in thought began.
Peyton Del Toro
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, just read it.
Jul 12, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I haven't been in the right headspace for this book for months. Or it's just too dense for me. Or both. I'm not sure which. I may come back to this at a later date but for now I'm considering it abandoned. ...more
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Trinh T. Minh-ha (born 1952) is a filmmaker, writer, academic and composer. She is an independent filmmaker and feminist, post-colonial theorist. She teaches courses that focus on women's work as related to cultural politics, post-coloniality, contemporary critical theory and the arts. The seminars she offers focus on Third cinema, film theory and aesthetics, the voice in cinema, the autobiographi ...more

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10 likes · 4 comments
“Neither black/red/yellow nor woman but poet or writer. For many of us, the question of priorities remains a crucial issue. Being merely "a writer" without a doubt ensures one a status of far greater weight than being "a woman of color who writes" ever does. Imputing race or sex to the creative act has long been a means by which the literary establishment cheapens and discredits the achievements of non-mainstream women writers. She who "happens to be" a (non-white) Third World member, a woman, and a writer is bound to go through the ordeal of exposing her work to the abuse and praises and criticisms that either ignore, dispense with, or overemphasize her racial and sexual attributes. Yet the time has passed when she can confidently identify herself with a profession or artistic vocation without questioning and relating it to her color-woman condition.” 23 likes
“Speaking, writing, and discoursing are not mere acts of communication; they are above all acts of compulsion. Please follow me. Trust me, for deep feeling and understanding require total committment.” 16 likes
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