Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2023

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English Literature

Committee Chair

Dr. M. Eliatamby-O'Brien

Second Committee Member

Dr. Michael Johnson

Third Committee Member

Professor Joshua Aubol


This thesis seeks to analyze Marie Darrieussecq’s Pig Tales and Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl, with a particular emphasis on how one’s age, gender, and racial identity each affect the reception an individual has towards their animality and connections with nonhuman animals. By using posthumanism as a framework, I argue that though it is initially difficult for Darrieussecq’s narrator to accept her changing body during her adulthood (where she already has a strong sense of identity), her transformation and choice to life as a sow by the end of the novel illustrates a rejection of her society’s anthropocentrism. Further, I argue that in Salt Fish Girl, though retaining one’s animality may be a struggle, Lai frames nonhuman animal traits as desirable and imagines a world in which hybridity is embraced and actively engaged with cultural influences. Through this comparative reading, I also seek to emphasize Lai and Darrieussecq’s revision of influential cultural texts, resulting in a new attention paid to racialized and animalized bodies, with a specific emphasis on human-nonhuman animal hybridity that exemplifies a rejection of humanistic dualism.