Imagining Gender in Biographical Fiction

edited by Julia Lajta-Novak and Caitríona Ní Dhúill

Lajta-Novak, J., & Ní Dhúill, C. (eds.) (2022). Imagining Gender in Biographical Fiction.
Palgrave Studies in Life Writing. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.


This volume addresses the current boom in biographical fictions across the globe, examining the ways in which gendered lives of the past become re-imagined as gendered narratives in fiction. Building on this research, this book is the first to address questions of gender in a sustained and systematic manner that is also sensitive to cultural and historical differences in both raw material and fictional reworking. It develops a critical lens through which to approach biofictions as ‘fictions of gender’, drawing on theories of biofiction and historical fiction, life-writing studies, feminist criticism, queer feminist readings, postcolonial studies, feminist art history, and trans studies. Attentive to various approaches to fictionalisation that reclaim, appropriate or re-invent their ‘raw material’, the volume assesses the critical, revisionist and deconstructive potential of biographical fictions while acknowledging the effects of cliché, gender norms and established narratives in many of the texts under investigation. 

The introduction of this book is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license at

Chapter 1 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via



Julia Lajta-Novak is a tenure-track professor for Anglophone Literature and Mediality at the Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna.