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Urban Captivity Narratives: Captivity and Confession in Women’s Writing

This paper explores the emergence of narratives (memoirs, literary, and young adult fiction) that chronicle the abduction and prolonged captivity of young women. This paper names this genre the ‘‘urban captivity narrative’’ and maps the social and political factors that inform its wide-spread popularity. These factors include the post-9/11 social and political climate, our social fixation on damsels in distress, the primacy of the sexual confession, and renewed fears surrounding paedophilia and sexual predators.