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Southern Women's Writing, Colonial to…

Southern Women's Writing, Colonial to Contemporary

by Mary Louise Weaks

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"The southern lady, traditionally depicted as a bloodlessly marmoreal icon, is jostled off her pedestal by living, moving, and, above all, speaking and writing women, black and white, rich and poor, old and young, in this unique anthology which so pleasurably delineates a long-obscured feminine literary tradition."--Veronica Makowsky, University of Connecticut

"Timely and long overdue.  The contribution of women to southern traditions is often undervalued, and gathering them here provides an unmistakable mark of their range and quality.  This collection should encourage important reevaluations of southern writing and the contributions of its women authors."--Barbara C. Ewell, Loyola University, New Orleans
A problematic relationship forms the core of this anthology--the interwoven lives of southern women.  On the one hand, they are linked by gender; on the other, they are divided by racism, class conflict, and sexual politics.  As suggested by these selections from both white and African-American women from the early eighteenth to the late twentieth century, their struggles capture the essence and the evolution of the southern woman's voice.
 With artistic and historical richness seldom found in literary anthologies, this collection includes letters, journal and diary entries, essays, poetry, and fiction, with an introduction to each historical period and a biography of each author.
 While all the writers share the label "southern woman," some test the boundary of that designation.  Fanny Kemble, a British actress, moved to the Georgia plantation that her husband inherited; Leigh Allison Wilson, the youngest writer, was born and raised in the South but writes about New York state.  However, all authors reflect or refract their personal experience; together their work conveys the range and texture of the literary tradition of the South and of its women writers.

List of writers
Eliza Lucas Pinckney
Eliza Wilkinson
Anne Newport Royall
Caroline Howard Gilman
Fanny Kemble
Susan Petigru King Bowen
Harriet Jacobs
Frances E. W. Harper
Sarah Grimké
Mary Boykin Chesnut
Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
Elizabeth Keckley
Margaret Junkin Preston
Katherine McDowell
Mary Noailles Murfree
Grace King
Kate Chopin
Julia Mood Peterkin
Alice Dunbar-Nelson
Caroline Gordon
Evelyn Scott
Katherine Anne Porter
Zora Neale Hurston
Carson McCullers
Flannery O'Connor
Eudora Welty
Margaret Walker
Doris Betts
Sonia Sanchez
Mab Segrest
Bobbie Ann Mason
Alice Walker
Ellen Gilchrist
Leigh Allison Wilson
Mary Louise Weaks is associate professor and chair of the Department of English at Rockford College in Illinois.  She is the coeditor of Talking with Robert Penn Warren and author of articles, interviews, and reviews published in The Southern Review, Mississippi Quarterly, and Atlanta Historical Journal.   Carolyn Perry is assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.  She is the coeditor of The Dolphin Reader.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:48 -0400)

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