The Oxford companion to women's writing in the United States

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS147.O94 1995
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS147.O94 1995
Noncirculating (2)
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Northland Public Library Ready Reference R 810.992 OX2
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Ready Reference
Call Number  R 810.992 OX2
Penn Hills Library Reference R 810.99 OXF
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Reference
Call Number  R 810.99 OXF
From Anne Bradstreet's The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America in the seventeenth century, to Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize in 1993, women writers have woven a rich tapestry of voices across four centuries of American history. Their writings have embraced a marvelous diversity of visions,including those of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Cynthia Ozick, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kate Chopin, Maya Angelou, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Edith Wharton, Adrienne Rich, Djuna Barnes, and Willa Cather. The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States provides a comprehensive,authoritative, and highly informative survey of these writers and their work as it illuminates the issues that fired their imaginations.Here is a goldmine of information about women's writing, women's history, and women's concerns--over eight hundred entries, ranging from brief identifications to extensive essays. The volume boasts contributions by many well-known thinkers, including Susan Faludi writing on backlash, Deborah Tannenon communications between the sexes, Jane Gallop on Lacanian psychoanalysis, Nell Irvin Painter on Sojourner Truth, and Trudier Harris on Toni Morrison. There are nearly four hundred biographical entries, touching on not only important poets, novelists, and playwrights (including such modern figuresas Wendy Wasserstein, Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, and Tama Janowitz), but also women writers who have made important contributions in other fields, such as Betty Friedan, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, Aimee Semple McPherson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. Perhaps most important, thereis extensive coverage of the many personal, cultural, and historical issues that have been explored by and have influenced the lives and productivity of women writers, including AIDS, race and racism, violence and sexual harassment, the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and much more. There isalso coverage of the publishing world (including bookstores and women's presses), the art and practice of writing, and contemporary literary criticism (including lesbian literary theory, black feminism, and deconstruction).The women who have written beautifully, poignantly, tenderly, humorously, or powerfully about America and American lives are indeed a heterogeneous group. The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States captures this remarkable diversity, painting a fascinating portrait of women andwomen's writing in America.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In recent years, there has been a trend among publishers of literary reference sources for books that group authors in ways that reflect how they are increasingly studied. One of the ways to consider writers is by ethnic group. Another is to draw on the tremendous growth in the area of women's studies and examine women's literature as a distinct field. Now, from Oxford comes a new member of its distinguished Companion series. Editor Davidson is professor of English at Duke University; and Wagner-Martin is professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Five hundred scholars contributed to this multidisciplinary work, which is intended "for both general readers and specialized academic critics." All entries are signed, and the contributors are listed in a directory. The editors explain that they chose "writing" rather than "literature" because they wanted the book to reflect women's contributions in a wide range of genres. Chronological coverage ranges over four centuries. Entries are from 15 lines to several pages in length. See references help guide the reader to appropriate entries, and, within the text, asterisks are used to indicate cross-references. Coverage includes entries that examine periods of time, such as Colonial Era Writing and Progressive Era Writing. Entries are here for ethnic literature, such as Irish American Writing and Southeast Asian-American Writing, as well as for regions such as New England and the South. Essays cover such genres as Humor, Slave Narratives, Poetry, Protest Writing, and Etiquette Books and Columns and also on writing in various academic and professional fields. Other entries examine such issues as Deconstruction and Feminism, Immigration, Pornography, and Whiteness. Th entries Aging, Daughters, and Romantic Love explore these topics as literary themes. There are entries for historical events, such as the Federal Writer's Project, and for various aspects of reading and publishing. Separate entries appear for more than 400 women, from Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley to Gloria Steinem, Louise Erdrich, and Amy Tan. Many more are mentioned in the various essays; the index lists page references for writers as diverse as Sara Paretsky, Ann Landers, Anna Quindlen, Virginia Hamilton, Marabel Morgan, and LaVyrle Spencer. With a few exceptions, such as Tillie Olsen's Silences, there are no entries for individual titles. It is not entirely clear how decisions were made to have entries on some writers and not others. Southern writers Ellen Gilchrist and Lee Smith have their own entries, but Dorothy Allison, Jill McCorkle, and Josephine Humphries are covered in the essay Southern Women's Writing. There is no mention anywhere of Mary Lee Settle. There are entries for Jane Smiley and Terry McMillan, but Mona Simpson is discussed under Arab-American Writing, and Barbara Kingsolver is mentioned only as a poet, in the essay Translators. Following the main body of the text are a "Timeline of U.S. Women's Writing," an extensive bibliography, and the index. The detailed index is crucial because of all of the information embedded in the text. As the editors state in the preface, there are already "many excellent resources currently available" on women writers. Information about many of the writers covered here can also be found in Contemporary Authors, Modern American Women Writers (Scribner, 1991), and The Feminist Companion to Literature in English (Yale, 1990), to name just a few. What is unique about this volume is that it aims to explore the entire range of women's writing in a multidisciplinary framework. The reader will learn almost as much about current trends and issues in the disciplines of literature and women's studies as about women's writing itself. Recommended for most libraries, as an authoritative source to support inquiries in both fields. (Reviewed January 15, 1995)"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects American literature -- Women authors -- Dictionaries.
American literature -- Women authors -- Bio-bibliography.
Women and literature -- United States -- Dictionaries.
Women authors, American -- Biography -- Dictionaries.
Publisher New York :Oxford University Press,1995
Other Titles Women's writing.
Contributors Davidson, Cathy N., 1949-
Wagner-Martin, Linda.
Ammons, Elizabeth.
Language English
Description xxx, 1021 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 970-977) and index.
ISBN 0195066081 (acid-free paper) :
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