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Deferrals Of Domain

Overview

Contemporary female novelists tend to portray the relationship between women and the state as profoundly negative, in contrast to various constructions in current feminist theory. Martine Watson Brownley analyzes novels by Margaret Atwood, Paule Marshall, Nadine Gordimer, and Margaret Drabble to explore the significance of this disparity. The book uses literary analysis to highlight elements of state power that many feminist theorists currently occlude, ranging from women's still minimal access to state politics ...

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Overview

Contemporary female novelists tend to portray the relationship between women and the state as profoundly negative, in contrast to various constructions in current feminist theory. Martine Watson Brownley analyzes novels by Margaret Atwood, Paule Marshall, Nadine Gordimer, and Margaret Drabble to explore the significance of this disparity. The book uses literary analysis to highlight elements of state power that many feminist theorists currently occlude, ranging from women's still minimal access to state politics to the terrifying violence exercised by modern states. At the same time, however, feminist theory clarifies major elements in many contemporary women's lives about which the novels are ambivalent or misleading, such as romantic love and the role of sexuality in state politics. Deferrals of Domain fills a double gap, both authorial and topical, in current critical treatments of women writers and will be of interest to both literary and women's studies scholars.

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Editorial Reviews

Blair
There are many things to admire in this study: Brownley's reading is compendious, and she adroitly condenses reams of material to isolate what is at stake in the critical movements she discusses. She is quick to identify others; sloppy reasoning and theorizing.
The Boston Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312228118
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Martine Watson Brownley is Goodrich C. White Professor of English at Emory University.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Hobbes’s Fish
• Introduction: Women and Fictions of the State
• Three Political Narratives
• Fantasies of Power: Margaret Atwood’s Bodily Harm
• The Romance of Politics: Paule Marshall’s Daughters
• Political and Sexual Liberations: Nadine Gordimer’s A Sport of Nature
• Mothers and Capitalists in International Politics: Margaret Drabble’s The Gates of Ivory
• Works Cited

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