The premise is that this shared scenario stems from the discovery in the nineteenth century that humans are transformable. Because scientific innovations play a major part in this discovery, Dorothy Kelly reviews some of the contributing trends that attracted one or more of the authors: mesmerism, dissection, transformism, and evolution, new understandings of human reproduction, spontaneous generation, puericulture, the experimental method. These ideas and practices provided the novelists with a scientific context in which controlling, changing, and creating human bodies became imaginable.
At the same time, these authors explore the ways in which not only bodies but also identity can be made. In close readings, Kelly shows how these narratives reveal that linguistic and coded social structures shape human identity. Furthermore, through the representation of the power of language to do that shaping, the authors envision that their own texts would perform that function. The symbol of the reconstruction of woman thus embodies the fantasy and desire that their novels could create or transform both reality and their readers in quite literal ways. Through literary analyses, we can deduce from the texts just why this artificial creation is a woman.
Studies included in this bilingual volume focus on the representation of female solidarity and solitude in French and Francophone society, literature, journalism and history, covering texts ranging from the 17th to the 21st centuries. The various contributions explore how the construction of female solidarities and identities has depended not only on networks, dialogues and correspondences, but also (and often simultaneously) on isolation, confrontations and rivalry between women, and on unconventional representations of femininity and motherhood.
Thanks to the scholarly commitment of its authors, this book examines the range of masculine expression on three continents: Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In this collection, they write about men’s past and present challenges, male friendships, and male immigrants and outcasts. Paralleling the independence movement of France’s former colonies, the goal of this collection is to continue the expression of freedom toward understanding and tolerance of all variances of sexuality.
New Women’s Writing addresses this legacy and reflects upon the following questions: What is a critical history of women’s writing? How has women’s writing challenged literature’s rigid disciplinary construction? How can we derive a distinct philosophy of women’s writing and literary studies? How does an engagement with women’s writing contribute to a literary understanding of the complex politics of literature?
This book is designed to interest both the seasoned scholar of women’s writing, as well as fledgling scholars who wish to grapple with the broad concept of women’s writing and its manifestations in the twentieth century and thereafter.
Cherchez la femme offers a selection of essays inquiring into the nature of aesthetic, linguistic, cultural, and social values created, informed, or reformed by women in the French-speaking world, as well as studies on how the discourse of (male) power used female figures to strengthen its own position. With topics ranging in time from Semiramis’s ancient legend to today, and in space from Québec to Haiti, metropolitan France, and New Caledonia, the volume shares the richness and fruitfulness of the female perspective in art, culture, theory, and political action.
This study situates English Canadian authors within an extensive framework that includes francophone writers as well as women’s work as compositors, bookbinders, and interveners in public access to print. Literary authorship is shown to be one point on a spectrum that ranges from missionary writing, temperance advocacy, and educational texts to journalism and travel accounts by New Woman adventurers. Familiar figures such as Susanna Moodie, L.M. Montgomery, Nellie McClung, Pauline Johnson, and Sara Jeannette Duncan are contextualized by writers whose names are less well known (such as Madge Macbeth and Agnes Laut) and by many others whose writings and biographies have vanished into the recesses of history.
Readers will learn of the surprising range of writing and publishing performed by early Canadian women under various ideological, biographical, and cultural motivations and circumstances. Some expressed reluctance while others eagerly sought literary careers. Together they did much more to shape Canada’s cultural history than has heretofore been recognized.
This major contribution to the already existent criticism of Margaret Laurence’s works lies in the analysis of her work as an entity, balancing both terms of the common binary oppositions: fiction versus non-fiction, Africa versus Canada, white versus Black or Metis. In spite of critical comments which might be raised, Andreea Topor-Constantin comments on how the voice of the marginal makes itself heard throughout the author’s books, underlying Laurence’s emphasis on characterisation and her genuine concern for people.
This book covers all aspects of Laurence’s life and fiction: from the African to the writer’s Canadian background, from adults’ to children’s literature, from novels to short stories, from essays to letters, in order to challenge readers’ perceptions of race, ethnicity, gender and class.
While glimpsing the evolution of, challenges to, and conceptions regarding sexuality, eroticism, and gender, each chapter’s author focuses on language as both the obstacle and catalyst for change. For example, feminist strategies to avoid linguistic gender markers that subvert the phallogocentric paradigm, literary portrayals of rape as a means to affect French penal code, and use of the female body as language demonstrate that these notions are not only shaped by language but that language represents the key to deconstructing and redefining them. Whether picking this up to read about familiar authors such as Hugo and Djebar or discovering Graffigny and Houellebecq for the first time, each chapter promises to shed new light on its subject matter in regards to sexuality, eroticism, and/or gender.
Contributors to this collection probe the realms of gender studies, postcolonialism, and post-structural theory and suggest important ways in which to explore connections between home, motherhood, and history across the multifarious narratives of African American and Afro-Caribbean experiences. Together they argue that it is through their female characters that black women writers demonstrate the tumultuous processes of deciphering home and homeland, of articulating the complexities of mothering relationships, and of locating their own personal history within local and national narratives.
Essays gathered in this collection consider the works of African American women writers (Pauline Hopkins, Toni Morrison, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Audre Lorde, Lalita Tademy, Lorene Cary, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Sherley Anne Williams) alongside the works of black women writers from the Caribbean (Jamaica Kincaid and Gisèle Pineau), Guyana (Grace Nichols), and Cuba (María de los Reyes Castillo Bueno).
In a Closet Hidden traces Freeman's evolution as a writer, showing how her own inner conflicts repeatedly found expression in her art. As Glasser demonstrates, Freeman's work examined the competing claims of creativity and convention, self-fulfillment and self-sacrifice, spinsterhood and marriage, lesbianism and heterosexuality.
Chinese Women Writers in Diaspora is a pioneering study that focuses on four Chinese women writers currently living in the United States and England, whose works have been popularly received—and are in many cases, highly controversial—but have received little scholarly attention: Xinran (b. 1958), Hong Ying (b. 1962), Anchee Min (b. 1957), and Adeline Yen Mah (b. 1937). The chapters illuminate how Xinran constructs her identity and her fellow Chinese women in dialectics of self and other; how Hong Ying evokes cycles of return that blend Western and Chinese philosophical concepts; how Min employs images of theatre and theatrical conventions to depict the entrapment and transgression of her protagonists; and how Mah transliterates and appropriates both Western and Chinese fairy tale motifs to fashion her Chinese feminist utopia. While Jung Chang’s memoir seems confining, it has aroused interest in the genre of Chinese female autobiography, and Chinese women writers who live and write between cultures.
Bachelors and bastards are two principal players in the representation of illegitimacy in Maupassant and Gide, but this study considers the theme of illegitimacy as extended beyond simple questions of legitimate versus illegitimate children. The male bastard is only one of the "Counterfeit" characters examined in these authors' fictional texts. This book is divided into three parts which consider specific thematic elements of their "bastard narratives". Part One frames the representation in fiction of bachelor figures and how they contribute to, or the roles they play in, instances of illegitimacy. Part Two springs from and develops the metaphor of the "counterfeit coin," whether represented by a bastard son, an affected schoolboy, a false priest, or a pretentious littérateur. Part Three explains the concept of "nomadic masculine" practices; such practices include nomadic styles of masculinity development as well as the bastard's nomadism.
essay, “Narrative of Community.” Reading texts from countries around the world, the collection’s twenty-two contributors expand scholarship on the genre as they employ diverse theoretical models to consider how female identity is negotiated in community or the roles of women in domestic, social and literary community. Grouped into four sections based on these examinations, the essays demonstrate how Zagarell’s theory can provide a point of reference for multiple approaches to women’s writing as they read the semiotic systems of community. While “narrative of community” provides an organizing principle behind this collection, these essays offer critical approaches grounded in a wide variety of disciplines. Zagarell contributes the collection’s concluding essay, in which she provides a series of reflections on literary and cultural representations of community, on generic categorizations of community, and on regionalism and narrative
of community as she returns to theoretical ground she first broke almost twenty years ago. Overall, these essays bring their contributors and
readers into a community engaged with a narrative genre that inspires and affords a rich and growing tradition of scholarship.
With Narratives of Community, editor Roxanne Harde offers a wealth of critical essays on a wide variety of women's linked series of short stories, essays that can be seen overall to explore the genre as a kind of meeting house of fictional form and meaning for an inclusive sororal community. The book itself joins a growing critical community of monographs and essay collections that have been critically documenting the rise of the modern genre of the story cycle to a place second only to the novel. But more than simply joining this critical venture, Narratives of Community makes a major contribution to studies in the short story, feminist theory, women's studies, and genre theory. Its introduction and essays should prove of enduring interest to scholars and critics in these fields, as well as continue highly useful in the undergraduate and graduate classrooms.
— Gerald Lynch, Professor of English, University of Ottawa
The introduction, by Prof. Harde, and the 20 essays in the book dialogue with Sandra Zagarell’s proposed paradigm “narratives of community”, which other scholars have called “short story cycles” or “story sequences”. Zagarell’s proposal organically blends a generic model with a thematic concern to explain how women writing community often turn to a particular narrative style that itself supports the literary creation of that community. Harde and the volume contributors appropriate this brilliant and engaging proposal in the context of other crucial discussions of the genre—notably Forest Ingram’s germinal study, J. Gerald Kennedy’s work, and those by Robert Luscher, Maggie Dunn and Anne Morris, James Nagel, Gerald Lynch and (I’m honored to note), my own study on Asian American short story cycles—to expand the range of the critical discussion on the form. The quality and diversity of the essays remind us that there is still much work that can be done in the area of genre studies.
The volume emphasizes an important caveat to one vital misconception: that although writers like James Joyce or Sherwood Anderson are thought to be the precursors or, even, “inventors” of the form, women’s sequences, by Sara Orne Jewett and Elizabeth Gaskell, among others, actually predate the work of the male writers. This fact suggests that the development of the form as a genre that attends to specific perspectives or creative formulations of and by women needs to be considered in depth. The temporal scope of the volume is therefore a vital contribution to scholarship on the form, as is the diversity of the writers analyzed. Indeed, the examination of narratives by writers from different countries and that focus on characters from different time periods, racial, religious, or ethnic communities, and social class impels a multilayered reading of the texts that inevitably promotes a nuanced understanding of the project of each of the writers, a project that connects issues of individuality and community in varied and often surprising ways. The essays thus critically explore the notion of community in its myriad associations with the individual and as a crucial site not only for women’s action upon the world but also for her creative endeavors.
The essays in the volume revisit familiar texts—Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Welty’s The Golden Apples, Munro’s The Lives of Girls and Women, among others—but offer new perspectives on the way form interacts with issues of women’s communities and women creating community in these works. Significantly, it also offers readings on texts that have not been analyzed in detail from this perspective—Gaskell’s Cranford or Woolf’s A Haunted House, for example—thus contributing to a continuing conversation about the ways women write. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the new expand the paradigms of current criticism not only on the story cycle but also on women’s writing in general.
—Rocio Davis, Professor of Literature, University of Navarre
"Roxanne Harde’s forthcoming volume, Narratives of Community: Women’s Short Story Sequences, provides an abundant collection of varied responses to Sandra Zagarell’s longstanding call for further in-depth exploration of the genre that Zagarell christened “the narrative of community” in her 1988 essay linking non-novelistic narrative form with representations of female experience. As Harde observes, such narratives of community overlap significantly with the growing canon of unified but discontinuous collections of autonomous stories that critics have variously labeled as the short story cycle/ sequence/ composite . .
. The essays in her collection examine a rich variety of such works by women, extending the scholarship in this area. . . Harde’s ample collection of essays presents a concerted and diverse exploration of the implications of the short story sequence form as a representation of women’s lives as part of and in conflict with membership in a community.
. . . Overall, Harde’s volume is a welcome addition to current scholarship on the short story sequence, bringing in a variety of new voices and perspectives to the community of scholars who have engaged in the exploration of this paradoxical, evolving, and increasingly popular genre."
— Dr. Luscher
In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women's writing, At Home in the World argues that this body of work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. In this new literary history, Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord contend that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life, allowing characters and authors alike to forge new, emancipatory narratives.
The book explores works by a wide range of writers, including canonical figures such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Harriet Jacobs, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, and Toni Morrison; neglected or marginalized writers like Mary Antin, Tess Slesinger, and Martha Gellhorn; and recent and contemporary figures, including Nadine Gordimer, Anita Desai, Edwidge Danticat, and Jhumpa Lahiri. DiBattista and Nord show how these writers dramatize tensions between home and the wider world through recurrent themes of sailing forth, escape, exploration, dissent, and emigration. Throughout, the book uncovers the undervalued public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.
The result is an enlightening reinterpretation of women's writing from the early nineteenth century to the present day.
Triumphant Bodies centers on Aphra Behn, Mary Wortley Montagu, Charlotte Lennox, and Frances Brooke, with additional glances toward their contemporaries, including John Dryden, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Delarivier Manley, Henry Fielding, Anne Finch, Mary Leapor, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Horace Walpole. Smith positions women’s writing within dominant traditions but argues that women writers simultaneously understood themselves s part of a gendered trajectory. By drawing together a diverse and expansive range of texts by women, this study suggests the complexity of any attempt to define women’s authorial triumphs during this period of tremendous vigor and transformation in the literary marketplace.
“What is it going to take to break apart these rigidities? Russ’s book is a formidable attempt. It is angry without being self-righteous, it is thorough without being exhausting, and it is serious without being devoid of a sense of humor. But it was published over thirty years ago, in 1983, and there’s not an enormous difference between the world she describes and the world we inhabit.”
—Jessa Crispin, from the foreword
“A book of the most profound and original clarity. Like all clear-sighted people who look and see what has been much mystified and much lied about, Russ is quite excitingly subversive. The study of literature should never be the same again.”
“Joanna Russ is a brilliant writer, a writer of real moral passion and high wit.”
Using tools of literary criticism to analyze the literary output of third wave feminism in the United States, Ungrateful Daughters looks at the main anthologies of third wave writings, paying attention to their structure, production process and narrative forms used in the individual pieces. It also attempts to define third wave fiction and analyze the memoirs and novels coming from writers who could be classified as third wave (specifically, Rebecca Walker, Danzy Senna and Michelle Tea), tracing how these books exhibit “third wave sensibility” and reflect generational experiences of third wave writers. A lot of attention is devoted to comparisons of second and third wave feminism and the ambivalent relationship of third wave feminism to postfeminism.
Wendy Kaminer wrote in True Love Waits: “If it ultimately fails as a liberation movement, feminism will at least have achieved considerable literary success.” Ungrateful Daughters examines whether the literary success helps or hinders the cause of women’s liberation.