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‘A Tourist In The Country Of Men’: Sexuality, Self, And Multiple Modernities In Anya Ulinich’s Graphic Novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel

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This article analyzes how Anya Ulinich’s graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel (2014) engages in and expands upon Jewish writing practices. I argue that through her use of the graphic novel as a medium, Ulinich both draws on and subverts masculine writing practices and images of women that have dominated Jewish literature and culture. Through her cross-discursive, intertextual, multi-directional writing, Ulinich depicts her protagonist Lena as gaining a sense of self, but one that is fragmentary and constantly experienced and re-pictured through memory and in relationship to others. Ulinich also raises the question, without providing a stable answer, as to the place of Soviet Jewish memory in Jewish-American life, experience, and literature. She places Russian, Jewish, and American writing and gender norms in conversation with each other, suggesting the difficulty of reconciling these different visions for women and modernity.


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