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Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës by [Devoney Looser]

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Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“Buried for 200 years, the story of the indomitable Porter sisters comes to light. Household names in their time, these forgotten Regency novelists have gained an effective champion in Jane Austen biographer and scholar Looser . . . A triumph of literary detective work and storytelling, this is a must-read for the Austen and Brontë crowd.” ―Kirkus Starred Review

“Before the Brontës introduced us to Heathcliff, before Jane Austen's wit made her famous, two best-selling 'sister-novelists' captivated readers and scandalized society. Today, their names have been forgotten. But, as Devoney Looser shows in this ground-breaking biography of Maria and Jane Porter, their works and legacy are still very much with us.” ―
Tilar Mazzeo, New York Times bestselling author of IRENA'S CHILDREN and THE WIDOW CLICQUOT

“Clever, compassionate and compelling, Devoney Looser is my favourite person to read on the subject of writers. The Porter Sisters have found the perfect biographer to uncover their scandalously neglected story.” ―

“Reading Devoney Looser's
Sister Novelists is like stepping into an Austen novel where one can vividly participate in the world full of love and angst that sisters, friends, lovers, and family endure only to realize that this is not a novel, but reality. Surely a mini-series need to be created about these genius, yet unknown women. I can't wait!” ―Damianne Scott of Black Girl Loves Jane

“Jane and Anna Maria Porter leap into view in Devoney Looser's brilliant joint biography. … Looser cannily lets the sisters display in their own words their kaleidoscopic lives of romantic infatuations, glamour, poverty and literary grind. This powerful biography delivers history through personal experience, while telling the achingly poignant story of lifelong sisterly love.” ―

“Looser triumphs in showing how intelligent women are forced to make unintelligent concessions by her deep dive into the sisters' publishing travails at a time women writers were considered unfeminine. Above all
Sister Novelists is an essential, important read, beautifully told, that will make readers ask how many other forgotten writers are waiting to be resurrected by a Devoney Looser.” ―Soniah Kamal, author of UNMARRIAGABLE: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN PAKISTAN

“Energetic and revealing.” ―
Jane Smiley, The New York Times on THE MAKING OF JANE AUSTEN

“Brilliant stuff... more entertaining than any reception history has a right to be.” ―

“An informative and delightful read for literary lovers who want to learn more about one of the most celebrated authors of all time,
The Making of Jane Austen puts the famed novelist in a whole new light.” ―Bustle on THE MAKING OF JANE AUSTEN

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Devoney Looser is Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University and the author or editor of nine books on literature by women, including The Making of Jane Austen. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Salon, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, and she's had the pleasure of talking about Austen on CNN. Looser, who has played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen, is a Guggenheim Fellow and a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two sons. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09SV3WDPK
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (October 25, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 25, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 31134 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 574 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 163557529X
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 17 ratings

About the author

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Hello, I'm Devoney Looser, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, I'm excited to share the news that my next book, Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës, is out October 25, 2022, from Bloomsbury USA. My work on this first biography of these fascinating, once-famous, and now-forgotten sisters was generously supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award. I'm also the author or editor of nine other books, including The Making of Jane Austen and The Daily Jane Austen: A Year of Quotes. I've done audio and video lectures, too, in a series of 24 30-minute lessons on Jane Austen that's available through Wondrium/The Great Courses and on Audible.

Most people call me Devoney (DEV-oh-knee), since Looser (LOH-zher) gets butchered, nine times out of ten. Enduring those childhood playground taunts about my last name definitely made me stronger! I also go by Stone Cold Jane Austen, especially when I'm on roller skates. There's more information about what I've been up to lately, and where I'll be speaking next, at and on Twitter & Instagram at @devoneylooser.

If you'd like to keep in touch, please subscribe to my free bimonthly author newsletter, at I'm happy to be in touch with you, if there's something you think I should know about, especially on the subject of strong women from Jane Austen to roller derby.



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