Redefining the Political Novel: American Women Writers, 1797-1901

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Sharon M. Harris
Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 200 pages
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While critical studies of the American political novel date from the 1920s, such considerations of the genre have failed, whether wittingly or unwittingly, to recognize works by women. The exclusion is usually based on a distinction between "social" novels and "political" novels, and the result is an understanding of the "political" as a largely male province.
In this thought-provoking collection of essays, the contributors seek not simply to add works by women to the canon of political novels but, rather, to demand a conceptual revolution - one that questions the very precepts on which the canon is based. This redefinition of the political novel takes many factors into account, including gender, race, and class and their relation to our most basic conceptions of literary and aesthetic value.
 

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Contents

Lydia Sigourneys
43
Nina Baym 4 Reinventing Lydia Sigourney
66
Sara Partons
86
Louisa May Alcotts
109
The Separatist
128
Claire Pamplin 9 Race and Identity in Pauline Hopkinss
169
Selected Bibliography
185
Contributors
193
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About the author (1995)

Sharon M. Harris is the Lorraine Sherley Professor in Literature at Texas Christian University. She is the author of Rebecca Harding Davis and American Realism, co-editor of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, and president of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers.

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