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The Vintage Book of American Women Writers Paperback – January 11, 2011
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Showalter follows her invigorating literary history A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (2009) with an equally substantial and exciting anthology encompassing 350 years and 79 writers of diverse backgrounds, locations, and literary styles, each introduced with brief, vivid biographical sketches. As Showalter observes, women’s writing has been “closely allied” with the quest for not only women’s rights but also universal human rights and justice, as well as literary exploration and excellence. Showalter’s chronological survey of “the literary mothers of us all” takes measure of the great reach and splendid variety of women’s writing and how it has illuminated America’s continuing transformation and shaped American literature. Naturally, such pillars as Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Flannery O’Connor are present. But here, too, are versatile Lydia Maria Child, early African American writer Frances E. W. Harper, short story writer Constance Fenimore Woolson, courageous Kate Chopin, blacklisted Meridel Le Sueur, and on to Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, Amy Tan, and Jhumpa Lahiri. --Donna Seaman
"Remarkable . . . . A Jury of Her Peers does an enormous service, houses a drop-dead reading list, and gives the reader a fluid framework"- Los Angels Times
"Exhilarating, provocative, revelatory, magisterial... The celebrated get their due…and so do the forgotten."- Slate
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I can't speak highly enough of this collection and I would like to thank the editor for her insightful work in its production. Each entry is an absolute jewel!