No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century, Volume II: Sexchanges / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview

What might sex be, and what could sex roles be, in the midst of a war between men and women? What is a "woman," a "man," an "androgyne"? Such questions haunt the works Gilbert and Gubar study in Sexchanges, the second volume of their landmark trilogy No Man's Land. Investigating the connections between the feminine and the modern made by writers from Rider Haggard, Olive Schreiner, and Kate Chopin to Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and Caryl Churchill, they show that the "no man's land" of the Great War became a metaphor for a crisis of masculinity-a crisis that was already associated with the decline of imperialism and the rise of the femme fatale at the fin de siecle, with the newly visible lesbian literary community that was formed in those years and with what many thinkers increasingly understood to be the artifice of gender. Throughout this century, the therefore argue, images of sexchanges-explored in fictions about transvestism and transsexualism-constituted a set of striking tropes through which male and female writers sought to combat one another's conceptions of the relation between anatomy and destiny.

"[This book] will set the direction of feminist criticism for the nest generation of students and scholars."-Walter Kendrick, New York Times Book Review

"For the scholar, it will become an indispensable critical text, but it also will reward the thoughtful general reader with a great deal of insight into this extraordinarily complex century in which we live."-Deirdre Bair, Philadelphia Inquirer

"A provocative work, characterized by . . . wit and erudition."-Elyse Blankley, Women's Review of Books

In this three-volume landmark work, the authors of the classic The Madwoman in the Attic provide an overview of modern literature in England and America, bringing feminist theory to bear on writings by men as well as women. Illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the first volume of No Man's Land ( LJ 11/15/87), the authors outlined their impressive literary-historical study of 20th-century women writers. This second volume asserts that gender, the primary category of experience, has been rapidly changing in the modern period. These social and historical transformations, the authors assert, are variously reflected in the literature by both women and men, who demonstrate an ``asymetrical'' response to the mutability of gender. Although their arguments are compelling, the impressively wide-ranging discussion treats few noncanonical authors; implicitly, questions about how race and class shape literary history are excluded from what aims to be an encyclopedic study.-- Mollie Brodsky, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300050257
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 476
  • Sales rank: 1,006,025
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

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