Scenes of the Apple: Food and the Female Body in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women's Writing

SUNY Press
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Focusing on women’s writing of the last two centuries, Scenes of the Apple traces the intricate relationship between food and body image for women. Ranging over a variety of genres, including novels, culinary memoirs, and essays, the contributors explore works by a diverse group of writers, including Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Toni Morrison, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Jeanette Winterson, as well as such nonliterary documents as discussions of Queen Victoria’s appetite and news coverage of suffragettes’ hunger strikes. Moreover, in addressing works by Hispanic, African, African American, Jewish, and lesbian writers, the book explodes the myth that only white, privileged, and heterosexual women are concerned with body image, and shows the many cultural contexts in which food and cooking are important in women’s literature. Above all, the essays pay tribute to the rich and multiple meanings of food in women’s writing as a symbol for all kinds of delightful—and transgressive—desires.
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About the author

Tamar Heller is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of Dead Secrets: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic and coeditor (with Diane Long Hoeveler) of Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction: The British and American Traditions.

Patricia Moran is Associate Professor of English at the University of California at Davis and the author of Word of Mouth: Body Language in Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2012
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Pages
267
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ISBN
9780791486528
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Women Authors
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"I'm an LA native with a lot of love for LA crime fiction, but instead of preaching to the noir choir about The Long Goodbye, I'd like to gush about Southland by Nina Revoyr. It's a brilliant, ambitious, moving literary crime novel about two families in South Los Angeles and their tangled history between the 1930s and the 1990s. The central mystery is the death of four black boys in a Japanese-American man's store during the Watts Rebellion of 1965. It's a powerful book, one that I think about often, as well as a huge influence on my work. Right up there with Chandler."
--Stephanie Cha (of the LARB) in GQ on "The Greatest Crime Novelists on Their Favorite Crime Novels Ever"

"Jackie Ishida's grandfather had a store in Watts where four boys were killed during the riots in 1965, a mystery she attempts to solve."
--New York Times Book Review, Ross MacDonald on "Where Noir Lives in the City of Angels"

"[A]n absolutely compelling story of family and racial tragedy. Revoyr's novel is honest in detailing southern California's brutal history, and honorable in showing how families survived with love and tenacity and dignity."
--Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

Southland brings us a fascinating story of race, love, murder and history, against the backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles. A young Japanese-American woman, Jackie Ishida, is in her last semester of law school when her grandfather, Frank Sakai, dies unexpectedly. While trying to fulfill a request from his will, Jackie discovers that four African-American boys were killed in the store Frank owned during the Watts Riots of 1965. Along with James Lanier, a cousin of one of the victims, Jackie tries to piece together the story of the boys' deaths. In the process, she unearths the long-held secrets of her family's history.

Southland depicts a young woman in the process of learning that her own history has bestowed upon her a deep obligation to be engaged in the larger world. And in Frank Sakai and his African-American friends, it presents characters who find significant common ground in their struggles, but who also engage each other across grounds--historical and cultural--that are still very much in dispute.

Moving in and out of the past--from the internment camps of World War II, to the barley fields of the Crenshaw District in the 1930s, to the streets of Watts in the 1960s, to the night spots and garment factories of the 1990s--Southland weaves a tale of Los Angeles in all of its faces and forms.

Nina Revoyr is the author of The Necessary Hunger ("Irresistible." --Time Magazine). She was born in Japan, raised in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and is of Japanese and Polish-American descent. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

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