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Anxious Power
Reading, Writing, and Ambivalence in Narrative by Women
Anxious Power
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Carol J. Singley - Editor
Susan Elizabeth Sweeney - Editor
SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Price: $60.50 
Hardcover - 400 pages
Release Date: July 1993
ISBN10: 0-7914-1389-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1389-0

Quantity:  
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 400 pages
Release Date: July 1993
ISBN10: 0-7914-1390-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1390-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

This book explains the conflicting feelings of anxiety and empowerment that women, historically excluded from masculine discourse, feel when they read and write, and it analyzes narrative strategies that reveal this ambivalence.

Anxious Power draws upon feminist literary theory, narrative theory, and reader-response criticism to define women's ambivalence toward language. It is the first collection to address issues of ambivalence in narrative by women, to trace those issues from the medieval period to the present, and to outline a theoretical framework for understanding them.

The contributors address a broad spectrum of female literary voices ranging from familiar British and American writers (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Willa Cather), and those less well known (Jane Barker, Caroline Lee Henz, Susan Warner, Sarah Grand, and Fanny Howe), to European, Canadian, African-American, South and Latin American, and Asian American writers (Christine de Pizan, Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy, Margaret Atwood, Harriet Jacobs, Toni Morrison, Clarice Lispector, Sandra Cisneros, and Maxine Hong Kingston).

Anxious Power considers forms of women's narrative ranging from fairy tales through romances, novels, and autobiographies, to feminist metafiction.

Carol J. Singley
is Assistant Professor of Literature and American Studies at The American University, and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney is Associate Professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross.


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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Carol J. Singley and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

EXPERIENCING ANXIOUS POWER

Female Language, Body, and Self
Carol J. Singley

EXPRESSING ANXIOUS POWER

Formal Strategies in a Female Narrative Tradition: The Case of Swann: A Mystery
Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

PART I: ANXIETIES OF AUTHORSHIP

Christine Antygrafe: Authorial Ambivalence in the Works of Christine de Pizan
Christine Moneera Laennec

Our Bodies / Our Texts?: Renaissance Women and the Trials of Authorship
Wendy Wall

A Politics of Disguise: Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy's "Belle-Etoile" and the Narrative Structure of Ambivalence
Patricia Hannon

Galesia, Jane Barker, and a Coming to Authorship
Kathryn R. King

PART II: "MY BOOK MY PEN AND MY--LOVER": READING, WRITING, AND ROMANCE

The World as Battleground in Jane Austen's Persuasion
Julia Giordano

"This Altogether Precious tho Wholy Worthless Book": The Diary of Mary Guion, 1800-1852
Martha Tomhave Blauvelt

Power and Resistance in Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Debra Humphreys

Mirroring the Mother-Text: Histories of Seduction in the American Domestic Novel
Elizabeth L. Barnes

Charlotte Bronte and Desire (to Write): Pleasure and Prohibition
Patricia E. Johnson

Sarah Grand's The Beth Book: The New Woman and the Ideology of the Romance Ending
Terri Doughty

Forbidden Reading and Ghostly Writing in Edith Wharton's "Pomegranate Seed"
Carol J. Singley and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney

PART III: DEVELOPING NARRATIVES OF DIFFERENCES

Willa Cather and the Fiction of Female Development
Judith Fetterley

"How Do We [Not] Become These People Who Victimize Us?": Anxious Authorship in the Early Fiction of Joyce Carol Oates
Brenda O. Daly

Receiving the Other: The Feminine Economy of Clarice Lispector's The Hour of the Star
Deborah J. Archer

"What There Was before Language": Preliteracy in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon
Deborah L. Clarke

Literary Tricksterism: Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
Bonnie TuSmith

Different Voices: The Re-Bildung of the Barrio in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street
Leslie S. Gutierrez-Jones

PART IV: READING AND WRITING EMPOWERMENT

Ambiguous Benefits: Reading and Writing in Feminist Metafiction
Gayle Greene

Letters from Nowhere: Fanny Howe's Forty Whacks and Feminine Identity
Johnny Payne

Scripted, Conscripted, and Circumscribed: Body Language in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
Sheila C. Conboy

Discourse as Power: Renouncing Denial
Diane P. Freedman

Notes on Contributors

Index



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