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Wings of Gauze: Women of Color and the Experience of Health and Illness Paperback – August 1, 1993

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Wings of Gauze is a mulitdisciplinary anthology of original essays written about the experiences of women of color in the United States-African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Southeast Asian American.

About the Author

Barbara Bair, Ph.D., is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Humanities, Charlottesville, and was for many years an Associate of the James B. Coleman African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught interdisciplinary courses in American literature, women and health, and American cultural and social history.

Susan E. Cayleff, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Women's Studies at San Diego State University. She teaches women's history from a multi-cultural perspective, women and health, women's sexualiyy, and women and sports.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814323022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814323021
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,875,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This anthology discusses health concerns faced by women of color. The contributors are diverse (women of color, white women, and even a couple of men). The writing styles are different (personal narrative, high cultural theory, public policy analysis, statistical numbers crunching, etc.). The topics vary too. I think the best chapters come near the end of the book and deal with breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. There is also regional diversity in terms of the participants studied. This book does include chapters on Asian women, Latinas, immigrants, and Native American women. Still, the book mostly focuses upon African-American women. In fact, chapters that mention nothing about race tend to address black women. Instead, they use signifiers ("the projects", "Rural Louisiana", etc.) As great as this book was, I see one big, potential problem. The authors describe the health beliefs of women of color to highlight how Western, Eurocentric medicine may be missing them or not helping them. Unfortunately, in some ways, this book makes women of color look superstitious, primitive, and almost illiterate. By discussing Black women who don't accept that they passed sickle cell anemia to their children, Latinas who say they'd rather die than suffer from breast cancer, and Southeast Asian women who drink teas in order to shoo away evil spirits, women of color--facing so many barriers as it is--look so backwards here. I wonder if the editors pondered this problem.
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