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From the Publisher
Given the interest in women's autobiographical writings among scholars and general readers, the ^IEncyclopedia^R is recommended for both university and public libraries.
"Its encyclopedic and culturally diverse nature should appeal to a wide audience and provide a valuable starting point for further research. Recommended for all libraries, particularly high school, undergraduate, and public."
"The 200 alphabetically arranged articles are international in scope and cover the last millennium. The earliest writer included is Hildegarde von Bingen (1098-1179 C.E.) and the youngest is Donna Williams (1963-). The editors interpret autobiography broadly; entries include Autobiographical fiction, Biography, Captivity/prison narratives, Confession, Diary, and Memoir….Appendixes, a time line, and a guide to topical articles help readers identify autobiographers by ethnicity, nationality, chronological period, or other characteristics. Topical articles are comprehensive, ranging from 3 pages to more than 30 pages. The lengthy bibliographies are rich with primary and secondary sources, anthologies, and articles….[t]he superb quality of its scholarship and its enlightening articles make the Encyclopedia of Women's Autobiography an important and highly recommended acquisition for academic and large public libraries and for high-school libraries supporting women's studies curricula."
Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"This work fills a large void. In the last 30 years, feminist scholars in many fields have mined the rich texts of women's life writings to reveal unique insights concerning women's personal and gendered perspectives. Following a table of contents, the Encyclopedia entries are alphabetically listed. A Guide to Related Topics covers names, titles, nationalities or ethnicities, genres and/or styles, and keywords/terms. The signed, alphabetical entries, ranging from about two to more than ten pages, fill the two volumes; contributors are academic experts from over 15 countries. The contents are well written and engaging, avoiding excessive jargon. They range from autobiographies of individuals (e.g., Adrienne Rich, Sojourner Truth, Isak Dinesen) to those of specific ethnicities or nationalities (e.g., African American Women's Autobiography) to important genres and terms (e.g., Captivity/Prison Narrative, Diary, Feminism, and Voice). Each entry contains a list of further readings….[t]his is a welcome resource. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."
"This encyclopedia has much to recommend it: it is international in scope and includes a good mix of entries for authors, specific autobiographies, genres/styles, nationalities or ethnicities, and key terms. The 190 signed entries are well written and long enough to provide a good introduction to each topic. Bibliographies at the end of each entry list primary and secondary sources….The Encyclopedia of Women's Autobiograhpy will be especially useful for its treatment of nearly fifty genre and technical terms, including autoethnicity, alterity, voice, embodiment, identity, self-help narrative, and relational autobiography; and for the twenty-seven articles that address women's autobiography from a national or regional perspective."
College & Research Libraries
"Although primarily filling a gap in reference works about autobiographical writings by women, this work is also a welcome addition for women's studies, English literature, and literary criticism, and its references to primary sources are also relevant to women's history. The emphasis throughout on gender, race, and class makes this work useful for postcolonial and ethnic studies as well….The entries are consistently well written and informative and include strong bibliographical references for further reading….This unique and lively resource deserves consideration."
Reference & User Services Quarterly
"[T]his encyclopedia would be useful for any person researching in the field of women's literature and/or gender studies, and would be a good acquisition for a humanities collection."
"Some of the names one might expect, such as Erica Jong, Anais Nin, Adrienne Rich, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf. Others, lesser-known, include Hildegard von Bingen, Jamaica Kincaid, Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Bharatis Kukherjee. In two volumes, 190 entries comprise brief biographies combined with extended examination of the subject's writing; geographical articles covering autobiography from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, the Pacific, Russia, and Scandinavia; material specific to ethnic identities; essays on historical events;analysis of key issues such as identity, patriarchy and relational autobiography; and seminal works such as The Book of Margery Kempe and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The entries are accessible and give students and scholars fundamental information and a solid starting-off point for more intensive study."
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