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Heroines (Semiotext(e) / Active Agents) Paperback – October 5, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A brave, enlightening, and brutally honest historical inquiry that will leave readers with an urgent desire to tell their own stories."  - Bitch magazine

"Heroines reads with an almost physical urgency, as though written in a hot, hot heat, as Zambreno tangles and untangles historic and fictional literary ladies (Emma Bovary, Nicole Diver), all while chronicling her own creative frustration as she trails her husband from one backwater academic post to the next, trying to dig herself out of her own alienated funk. It's totally smart, provocative, and oddly sexy."--Martha Bayne, Chicago Reader

"The book is startlingly insightful." -- Jezebel.com, Books You Should Read

"Issues a powerful clarion call for a supportive community of female writers who will fixate on their own experiences without shame and reject the "measuring rod" of the "Great American (Male) Novelist." -- Publishers Weekly

"I was reading your book intensely for days and people started asking, "Ok ok, what is this book?" What is this book you are so enraptured by? And I said, "Well, it's a book I've been waiting for for a long time." I am very excited it exists." -- Mary Borkowski, The New Inquiry

"It should come as no surprise that her provocative new work, Heroines, published by Semiotext(e)'s Active Agents imprint next month, challenges easy categorization, this time by poetically swerving in and out of memoir, diary, fiction, literary history, criticism, and theory. With equal parts unabashed pathos and exceptional intelligence, Heroines foregrounds female subjectivity to produce an impressive and original work that examines the suppression of various female modernists in relation to Zambreno's own complicated position as a writer and a wife." -- Christopher Higgs, The Paris Review online

"Intensity and intelligence forge the baseline current that runs through and characterizes most of Kate Zambreno's written work." -- The Millions, where Heroines was named one of the "Most Anticipated" Books of 2012.

"If you thought you knew a lot about the 'wives' of modernism and the various forms of silencing they suffered, Kate Zambreno's Heroines will teach you more; if you didn't know much, your mouth will fall open in enraged amazement. Zambreno admirably transforms copious research and personal experience into vernacular knowledge, then heats up the brew into a justified rant about dynamics that may have shape-shifted over the past 100 years but have (sadly) not disappeared. Bravo." -- Maggie Nelson, author of Bluets and The Art of Cruelty

About the Author

Kate Zambreno is the author of Green Girl, Heroines, and O Fallen Angel. She is at work on a triptych of books about time, memory, and the persistence of art. The first, Drifts, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial in 2017.
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Product Details

  • Series: Semiotext(e) / Active Agents
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Semiotext(e); First Edition edition (October 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584351144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584351146
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Zambreno is the author of Green Girl, Heroines, and O Fallen Angel. She is at work on a triptych of books about time, memory, and the persistence of art. The first, Drifts, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial in 2017.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Reading Kate Zambreno's essays is a little like reading her blog, FRANCES FARMER IS MY SISTER. The constant literary references can be breath-taking, if a bit distracting. Sometimes she sends me off on bookish rambles, two or three at a time. Sometimes she makes me wish we could have lunch, or at least a long telephone chat. The mind of this woman is vast.

That being said, there is a moment of murkiness on p. 259 when it seems as if either Zambreno or her grad student friend thinks that Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote THE AWAKENING. I know this can't be true, and prove it to myself by finding at least a dozen references elsewhere in the book to Kate Chopin, but this one flaw bothers me in an otherwise stellar book. Is it an editing issue, and if so, how did it slip past? One of the reasons I love Zambreno's work is that you can see her (and hear her) editing herself, all the time, so I had to wonder what happened. I wouldn't expect her to catch every comma splice on the blog, but a book of essays is more formal, and with only a print edition so far, more written in stone.

Perhaps it's a paltry question to ask about a truly brilliant collection, but I do hope it will be cleared up in the electronic edition, which is surely underway. This is one of those books one wishes to have available on all devices, for moments of waiting in traffic or offices. Something approaching delight or insight is on every page - proof that feminists can be funny as well as cerebral.
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Format: Paperback
This book is brillo, Zambreno a zavant. Read it on trains and cross-town buses. Read it in airports and bundled up in cafes. Stick it on your shelf between Bowles (Jane) and Markson (David). Or else pass it on to someone you esteem. Above all, speak breathlessly about it, rave about it - this book which is certainly some kind of remedy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read!
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By J. Stone on October 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best essays on feminism and literature I've read in a long time.
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Format: Paperback
As an Akrnoite and a lover of women writers I was excited to read this book. Good grief. Name drop, tragic female writers, poor me, crap on Akron, name drop, pretentious drivel, poor me, Europe, tragic female writers, crap on Akron, poor me, more drivel.

I don't think my fellow mid-westerners were staring at her cropped hair or leather jacket. That is nothing new around here. I am sure people tried to welcome her. Mid westerners, and Akronites in particular are a very welcoming group. Her personality is what soured her time in Akron. Her pretentious, I'm better than everyone attitude soured her time in Akron. You know what is not to blame? It's not Akron's rundown factories or her neighbor's dog or the people who kindly invited her over for Thanksgiving.

I am furious I wasted my time on this - precious time I'll never get back. Puke. I'm glad they freakin' left.
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