'This paper argues that in many recent life narratives a new openness about the part played by colour undermines what have historically been the fixed essentialisms of race. In particular, memoirs that acknowledge difference and division amongst people 'of colour' (such as the fierce criticism by Frantz Fanon of Mayotte Capecia's autobiography) highlight the complexities of racialized categories, and problematize the nexus between 'race' and 'ethnicity'. Analysis of the genre of 'ethnic' autobiography has until recently been largely dominated by American scholars, whose understanding of black-white positions has been premised on homogenous racial identities, which have taken for granted that 'ethnicity' implies 'minority' or coloured status, neglecting discussion of white as a colour. As 'inbetween' and alternative colour positions make their voices heard, and those for whom colour/race is in some sense at odds with culture/ethnicity, it is necessary to rethink the role of 'ethnic' autobiography, to reconceptualize the role of colour within it, and perhaps to reject its usefulness as a category altogether.' -- Publication abstract.