From Publishers Weekly
Literary critic and London Review of Books contributor Terry Castle says, "It's a sad life one leads as a Female Literary Critic. All that pressure to live up to masculine expectations." She has penned a challenging and thought-provoking collection of essays that serve as "a kind of brief on behalf of female authority," entitled Boss Ladies, Watch Out! Essays on Women, Sex and Writing. The book's first part features longer, somewhat formal, scholarly pieces; the second portion is composed of essays that began as "review-articles." The fiery pieces address Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, Gertrude Stein, Edmund White and others.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Castle's immersion in great 18th and 19th century writers such as Samuel Richardsom, Austen and the Brontes has clearly sharpened her own critical faculties and contributed more than a little to her engaging style and elan...a scintillating collection of essays. -- Los Angeles Times
Castle distinguishes herself with her even-keeled approach...[she] is no pushover when it comes to taking authors to task; she wields a formidable pen indeed. But it's clear that she criticizes because she cares--she wants female writers and artists and critics to be taken seriously. One of the biggest delights in this collection is Castle's keen sense of style, no small feat for a writer working in the academic world. In stark contrast to the wordier-than-thou poststructuralist approaches that seem to dominate her field, Castle's style is gleeful, fair, and erudite without being mired in plodding academic prose. She's more interested in engaging a text than she is in posturing. Cheers to Terry Castle for making literary criticism fun again. -- Bitch
Castle, a Stanford professor and the author of five books, tackles the Boss Lady problem with great insight and no lack of humor. These essays. many of which originally appeared in the London Review of Books
and the Times Literary Supplement
, reveal Castle to be a master of the review-article genre. They provide lucid, rigorous assessments of the authors' successes and failures, but also illuminating descriptions of their subjects' lives. -- Bitch
Is anyone as smart as Terry Castle? I sincerely doubt it! Boss Ladies
will appeal to the intellectuals among us who are looking for a bit of brain stimulation. -- Rachel Pepper, Curve
Brave, learned, sassy, wildly funny, Terry Castle knows heaps about people (and lives) as well as about literature in English. Her writing is full of feeling and wisdom. She's not only our best Female Literary Critic and One Wise Babe. She's the most expressive, most enlightening literary critic at large today. --Susan Sontag.
The truth is outrageous: that's a principle Terry Castle has proved. She is as sound as she is scandalous. Any educated person can read her essays with profit and pleasure--and with a jaw that is permanently dropped. -- Edmund White
Brave, learned, sassy, wildly funny, Terry Castle knows heaps about people (and lives) as well as about literature in English. Her writing is full of feeling and wisdom. She's not only our best Female Literary Critic and One Wise Babe. She's the most expressive, most enlightening literary critic at large today. -- Susan Sontag