Modern British Women Writers: An A-to-Z Guide

Overview

The 20th century witnessed several major cultural movements, including modernism, anti-modernism, and postmodernism. These and other means of understanding and perceiving the world shaped the literature of that era and, with the rise of feminism, resulted in a particularly rich body of literature by women writers. This reference includes alphabetically arranged entries on 58 British women writers of the 20th century. Some of these writers were born in England, while others, such as Katherine Mansfield and Doris ...

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Overview

The 20th century witnessed several major cultural movements, including modernism, anti-modernism, and postmodernism. These and other means of understanding and perceiving the world shaped the literature of that era and, with the rise of feminism, resulted in a particularly rich body of literature by women writers. This reference includes alphabetically arranged entries on 58 British women writers of the 20th century. Some of these writers were born in England, while others, such as Katherine Mansfield and Doris Lessing, came from countries of the former Empire or Commonwealth. The volume also includes entries for women of color, such as Kamala Markandaya and Buchi Emecheta.

Each entry is written by an expert contributor and includes an overview of the writer's background, an analysis of her works, an assessment of her achievements, and lists of primary and secondary sources. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although suspiciously undersized at first glance, this A-to-Z guide to modern British women writers is packed with facts and bears all the features of a bona fide reference source. In the very brief, get-to-the-point introduction, the editors-both English professors at SUNY-convincingly argue the logic behind the somewhat problematic title, i.e., why they consider modernism and its derivatives, antimodernism and postmodernism, to be 20th-century movements and why profiles of modernist writers who happen to be women need to be segregated in this way. What follows are 58 signed biographical entries on British women writers of the past century (e.g., Agatha Christie, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, and Rebecca West), which have been contributed by British and American scholars and arranged alphabetically for ease of use. Usually five to ten pages long, the entries include an overview of the writer's background, an analysis of her most influential works, an assessment of her critical success, and, most impressively, a long list of primary and secondary sources for further reading. Although much of the content is rooted in fact-making this guide a foremost research tool-there is enough preconception on the part of the contributors to spark some needed debate (e.g., it is arguable whether Virginia Woolf's stream-of-consciousness method was indeed her most significant contribution to modern fiction). But these and similar biases in no way diminish the work's indisputable reference value. In fact, they add to it. Recommended for large academic libraries, especially those that already own Greenwood's Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers: A Biographical Critical Sourcebook (2000), a very similar reference that leaves off where this one picks up.-Mirela Roncevic, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313310300
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2002
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

VICKI K. JANIK is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York College, Farmingdale.

DEL IVAN JANIK is Professor of English at the State University of New York College, Cortland.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Fleur Adcock 1
Beryl Bainbridge 9
Pat Barker 16
Sybille Bedford 21
Elizabeth Bowen 27
Vera Brittain 35
Anita Brookner 41
Brigid Brophy 47
A. S. Byatt 56
Angela Carter 63
Agatha Christie 72
Caryl Churchill 81
Ivy Compton-Burnett 88
Anne Devlin 93
Margaret Drabble 99
Maureen Duffy 106
Buchi Emecheta 113
Penelope Fitzgerald 123
Pam Gems 129
Susan Elizabeth Hill 136
Winifred Holtby 142
Attia Hosain 148
Elizabeth Jane Howard 153
P. D. James 159
Storm Jameson 166
Ann Jellicoe 174
Pamela Hansford Johnson 180
Charlotte Keatley 187
Rosamond Lehmann 191
Doris Lessing 196
Penelope Lively 207
Katherine Mansfield 215
Kamala Markandaya 221
Pauline Melville 230
Charlotte Mew 236
Penelope Mortimer 247
Iris Murdoch 253
Grace Nichols 257
Barbara Pym 262
Jean Rhys 267
Dorothy Richardson 273
Vita Sackville-West 280
Dorothy L. Sayers 285
May Sinclair 296
Edith Sitwell 302
Stevie Smith 309
Muriel Spark 315
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran 321
Elizabeth Coles Taylor 327
Angela Thirkell 335
Sylvia Townsend Warner 341
Fay Weldon 349
Timberlake Wertenbaker 358
Mary Wesley 367
Rebecca West 372
Jeanette Winterson 379
Virginia Woolf 385
E. H. Young 396
Selected Bibliography 403
Index 411
About the Editors and Contributors 423
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