The Routledge Introduction to American Women Writers considers the key literary, historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts of American women authors from the seventeenth century to the present, and provides students with an analysis of the most up-to-date literary trends and debates in women’s literature. This accessible and engaging guide covers a variety of essential topics such as:
The origins of American women’s writing The colonial period and the Puritans The early national period and the rhetoric of independence The 19th Century and the Civil War period The 20th Century, including Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance The 21st Century and the future of American women’s writing Feminism, sexuality, regionalism, domesticity, ethnicity, and multiculturalism.
The volume examines the ways in which both canonical and lesser known women writers from diverse class and cultural backgrounds have shaped American literary traditions, addressing key contemporary and theoretical debates, and giving particular attention to the ways writers worked both inside, outside, and around the strictures of their cultural and historical moments to create a space for women’s voices and experiences as a vital part of American life. This valuable introduction offers a readable, cohesive narrative of the development of literature by American women and a refreshing range of perspectives. It also includes bullet point summaries and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, making it particularly useful for students.
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