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YA?This scholarly reference provides a significant body of information on feminism and related literary topics. The definitions and explications are often complex and academic but the contemporary information will be useful to students interested in the most up-to-date analysis and author information. The cross-referencing within the text is helpful, as is the thorough index, which provides myriad subtopics to aid research. An introduction explains that one essay will lead to another and then another, working to create a broad picture of a given topic. Timelines show women's progress over time as it relates to literature and publication. A solid compendium of facts.?Richard Klein, Oakton High School, VA Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This new publication consists of over 800 entries that span four centuries of American women's writing. Full biographies and brief bibliographies detail the lives of women from all ethnic groups and regions of the country, including authors as diverse as Willa Cather and Rita Dove. Women who are not known chiefly as writers are also included, i.e., Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, and Susan B. Anthony. Entries also include literary styles (French feminism), objects (journals and diaries), and institutions (libraries) central to women's writing. All essays are signed, and many contributors are famous in their own right, Susan Faludi and Deborah Tannen among them. A useful time line of women's concerns and advances and a general bibliography round out this work. Similar to American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present (1979) and Modern American Women Writers (Scribner, 1991), this new guide is more current and has entries not solely limited to writers. Librarians will find themselves reaching for this book to answer a wide range of questions. Highly recommended for all libraries; essential for undergraduate collections. Neal Wyatt, Mary Washington Coll. Lib., Fredericksburg, Va. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I have several articles in this volume (disclosure) and in those articles I condensed more than thirty years of research and analysis and thought and love. I know a fair number of the other contributors and I know how unique and profound their work is so I assume that the editors were equally successful in their "roping in" of other contributors. The editors, Davidson and Wagner-Martin did an extraordinary job of thinking through their enormous topic and breaking it down into important and new categories. This work is probably the most important reference work to come out of the feminist study of American literature. Their editing of the work of their contributors assured that all the entries would be "reader friendly" and not eye-glazing literary criticism jargon. Every library should have this important volume on its shelves.
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