Summary and Info
This book offers an exploration of women’s writing that focuses on the close links between literary texts and the theories that construct those texts as ‘women’s writing’. Each chapter deals with one of the issues or concepts that have engaged both authors and theorists – rhetoric, work, consciousness, nature, class and race. A detailed analysis shows how each concept has been used by feminists to construct a specific text in such a way that it is received as a work of ‘women’s writing’, particularly in American literature.Using canonical texts, from Charlotte Perkins Gilman through Kate Chopin and Willa Cather to Alice Walker and Ann Beattie, Madsen engages with the major debates within feminist studies. Moving on from Showalter’s groundbreaking work to broaden the trajectory of feminist concern, this book is an accessible account of the varieties of feminist thought within the context of the key American texts.
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