DOI: 10.1093/cww/vpae007 ISSN: 1754-1484

Talking to Our Sons: The Power of the Reproductive Sphere in Agnès Agboton’s and Najat El Hachmi’s Autobiographies

Julia Teresa Utiger
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Gender Studies


In their autobiographies Más allá del mar de arena (2005) and Jo també sóc catalana (2004), Agnès Agboton and Najat El Hachmi narrate their diasporic experience of living and mothering in Catalonia. In both cases, the narrators address their sons. The close connection between the mothers (narrators) and their sons (addressees) establishes an intimate space of power which is analyzed through Irene Gedalof’s concept of the reproductive sphere. This essay proposes that the authors of both texts establish mothering in the diaspora within autobiographical narratives as a site of negotiation, creation of identity, and intervention both for the addressees and for a larger audience.