Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture
Women have been tricking men for thousands of years, and female tricksters have been appearing in classic and popular texts at least since the Thousand and One Nights. While there are many studies of tricksters, few have focused on the chicanery of women, and none have dealt with the ways in which the female trickster is constructed in America.
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This is a fantastic contemporary look at the mythic and story figure of the trickster. The trickster goes in and out of style as theorists find themselves drawn to his/her liminal nature and what that can mean to the contemporary culture. Landay does a fantastic job of using contemporary artifacts (movies, advertisements, TV characters) to show the change that trickster has evinced while few were looking. As a scholar of this figure I have found Landay's work pivotal and it is central to my own study.
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