Merry Wives and Others: A History of Domestic Humor Writing

Merry Wives and Others: A History of Domestic Humor Writing

by Penelope J. Fritzer, Bartholomew Bland
     
 

In many ways, the history of domestic humor writing is also a history of domestic life in the twentieth century. For many years, domestic humor was written primarily by females; significant contributions from male writers began as times and family structures changed. It remains timeless because of its basis on the relationships between husbands and wives, parents

Overview

In many ways, the history of domestic humor writing is also a history of domestic life in the twentieth century. For many years, domestic humor was written primarily by females; significant contributions from male writers began as times and family structures changed. It remains timeless because of its basis on the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, houses and inhabitants, pets and their owners, chores and their doers, and neighbors.

This work is a historical and literary survey of humorists who wrote about home. It begins with a chapter on the social context of and attitudes toward traditional domestic roles and housewives. The following chapters, beginning with the 1920s and continuing through today, cover the different time periods and the foremost American domestic humorists, and the humor written by surrogate parents, grown children about their childhood families, husbands, and Canadian and English writers. Also covered are the differences among various writers toward traditional domestic roles—some, like Erma Bombeck and Judith Viorst, embraced them, while others, like Caryl Kristenson and Marilyn Kentz, resisted them. Common themes, such as the isolation and competitiveness of housework, home as an idealized metaphysical goal and ongoing physical challenge, and the urban, suburban, and rural life, are also explored.

Editorial Reviews

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informative...recommended
Booknews
Fritzer (Florida Atlantic U.-Davie) and Bland (Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences) provide a chronological guide to the non-fictional humor writing of domestic life from the 1920s to the present day. The text includes entries for some 150 female and male writers from the U.S., Canada, and England, who draw on their own experiences of home life to create witty reflections of shared human experiences. Entries include background information on the author, her/his place within the genre of domestic humor writing, and brief analyses of her/his major works, including varying themes and attitudes presented in the work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786413058
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/2002
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Penelope Fritzer is an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University's Davie campus. She lives in Coral Springs. Bartholomew Bland is the director of exhibitions at the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences. He lives in New York.

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