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Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Speak on the Literary Life Paperback – June 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Private Voices, Public Lives: Women speak on the Literary Life is a collection of essays arguing for a more interactive and cooperative approach to the teaching, reading, critiquing, and writing of literature. Private Voices, Public Lives is of critical importance to readers, teachers, reviewers and critics. The essays incorporate ideas on current issues of autobiography, women's voice, reader response, diversity,a nd gender. Part I: The Work/Love Paradigm includes essays on Katherine Anne Porter, Willa Cather, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and others. Part II: The Text as Mirror includes essays on Adrienne Rich, Amy Tan, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Kathleen Norris, and others. Part III: Teaching and Writing the Self includes essays on Dr. Benjamin Spock, Virginia Woolf, Hart Crane, and others. Private Voices, Public Lives is one of the most exciting approaches to literary evaluation and assessment to come along in a several decades. -- Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Nancy Owen Nelson has published articles in several academic journals and anthologies.  She is co-editor of The Selected Letters of Frederick Manfred: 1932-1954 (University of Nebraska Press, 1989) and editor of Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Speak on the Literary Life (1995, University of North Texas Press) and The Lizard Speaks: Essays on the Writings of Frederick Manfred (the Center for Western Studies, 1998).  She has a published poetry in the, What Wildness is this? (University of Texas Press, March 2007) as well as in the South Dakota Review and Graffiti Rag and has creative nonfiction pieces in Mom's Writing Literary Journal (Fall, 2008), Lalitamba journal, and Roll (Telling Our Stories Press, 2013).  She is currently teaching writing in several colleges and a memoir workshop for Springfed Arts (a Detroit literary/music organization).
 
Nelson earned her B.A. in French and English at Birmingham-Southern College and her M.A. and PhD in English at Auburn University.  She taught composition and literature at Auburn University, Augustana College, Albion College, and Henry Ford Community College. For three years she served as Assistant Director of the Hassayampa Institute for Creative Writing at Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ.
 
She is looking for a home for her memoir, Divine Aphasia and writing a memoir on three generations of women in her family, Fighting for a Name.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929398882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929398884
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,001,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nancy Owen Nelson has published articles in several academic journals and anthologies. She is co-editor of "The Selected Letters of Frederick Manfred: 1932-1954" (University of Nebraska Press, 1989) and editor of "Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Speak on the Literary Life" (1995, University of North Texas Press) and "The Lizard Speaks: Essays on the Writings of Frederick Manfred" (the Center for Western Studies, 1998). She has a published poetry in the, "What Wildness is this?" (University of Texas Press, March 2007) as well as in the "South Dakota Review" "Lyceum" and "Graffiti Rag," and has creative nonfiction pieces in "Mom's Writing Literary Journal" (Fall, 2008), "Lalitamba" journal, and "Roll: a Collection of Personal Narratives" (Telling Our Stories Press, 2013). She is currently teaching writing in several colleges and a memoir workshop for Springfed Arts (a Detroit literary/music organization).

Nelson earned her B.A. in French and English at Birmingham-Southern College and her M.A. and PhD in English at Auburn University. She taught composition and literature at Auburn University, Augustana College, Albion College, and Henry Ford Community College. For three years she served as Assistant Director of the Hassayampa Institute for Creative Writing at Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ.

She is looking for a home for her memoir, "Divine Aphasia." Her memoir, "Searching for Nannie B: Connecting Three Generations of Southern Women," is available for purchase.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fire Woman on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
This fine collection of essays explores the effects of literature in women's lives. I was particularly delighted with essays exploring writers such as Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder. These authors have had an enormous impact on American girls for generations, but they have not yet received adequate scholarly attention. Nelson's volume continues the feminist literary project of recovering "lost" literature, as well as defining the ways in which women are affected and even changed by what they read.
Private Voices, Public Lives is exemplary of feminist literary theory in its rejection of an objective interpretive stance, frankly acknowledging the subject position of the interpreter. It is an ideal companion text for women's studies and women's literature courses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith Paterson on July 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love this book. Twenty-four wonderful autobiographical essays by women writers, teachers, and literary scholars in which each one shows how her work and her personal life intersect and enrich each other. The essays are fascinating and so are the complex lives that produced them. No one should miss "Search and Rescue" in which Beverly Connor, tells how her grief over her murdered daughter found expression and a degree of release in her teaching and her reading of Anne Tyler's novel "The Accidental Tourist." Other favorites of mine are "Love, Work, and Willa Cather" by Ann Fisher-Wirth; "In Search of the Androgynous Self," by Nancy Owen Nelson; "Literary Criticism with a Human Face," By Elsie F. Mayer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Larry R. Juchartz on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Private Voices, Public Lives is one of those rare books that manages to cross the boundary between "academic" and "real world" writing with consummate ease. Each of the contributing authors has focused squarely on Nancy Nelson's subtitle, "Women Speak[ing] on the Literary Life," by demonstrating with both clarity and grace how the act of writing is not only part of life, but often *is* life when the ineffable must find expression. Beverly Conner's essay, "Search and Rescue," is wihout question the most devastatingly candid writing I have ever read, showing how writing to express can become, in our darkest moments, writing to survive---and each of Conner's co-authors rises to the same mark of excellence in contributing fresh and insightful takes on not only 'the literary life' but the ways in which women both live and write the events that define them. As a teacher, I find Private Voices, Public Lives magnificently suited for any course in Women's Studies, Narrative Theory, or Literature---but as a reader I find it an equally magnificent bedside reader in times when the overwhelming number of male voices still represented in canonical and even journalistic texts requires a set of refreshing counterparts and counter-voices to represent the other half of human experience.
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