“Am I not OK?”: Negotiating and Re-Defining Traumatic Experience in Emma Donoghue’s Room

  • Lucia Lorenzi The University of British Columbia


This article analyses the ways in which Emma Donoghue’s novel Room interrogates how experiences of violence are represented and understood. With a focus on Donoghue’s choice to narrate the novel from the perspective of a young child, I suggest that Room not only questions how trauma is externally imposed onto individuals’ stories, but also queries whether or not the clinical language of trauma is in fact a useful one for describing the nuances and paradoxes of experiencing violence.

Author Biography

Lucia Lorenzi, The University of British Columbia
Lucia Lorenzi is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at The University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on representations of sexual violence in contemporary Canadian and Indigenous literatures, with a specific focus on the strategic use of silence. Her other research interests include trauma theory, affect theory and autobiographical theory. Her work has previously been published in West Coast Line and in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.