The Oxford Book of Women's Writing in the United States

Overview

Reveling in the awareness that the best U.S. women's writing is, quite simply, some of the best in the world, editors Linda Wagner-Martin and Cathy N. Davidson have chosen selections spanning four centuries and reflecting the rich variety of American women's lives. The collection embraces the perspectives of age and youth, the traditional and the revolutionary, the public and the private. Here is Judith Sargent Murray's 1790 essay "On the Equality of the Sexes," journalist Martha Gellhorn's "Last Words on ...
See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$43.23
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$44.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (39) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $29.11   
  • Used (35) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Reveling in the awareness that the best U.S. women's writing is, quite simply, some of the best in the world, editors Linda Wagner-Martin and Cathy N. Davidson have chosen selections spanning four centuries and reflecting the rich variety of American women's lives. The collection embraces the perspectives of age and youth, the traditional and the revolutionary, the public and the private. Here is Judith Sargent Murray's 1790 essay "On the Equality of the Sexes," journalist Martha Gellhorn's "Last Words on Vietnam, 1987," and Mary Gordon's homage to the ghosts of Ellis Island, "More Than Just a Shrine"; powerful short stories by Zora Neale Hurston, Edith Wharton, Cynthia Ozick, and Toni Morrison; letters from Abigail Adams, Sarah Moore Grimke, Emma Goldman, and Georgia O'Keeffe; Alice B. Toklas's recipe "Bass for Picasso," and erotic offerings from Anais Nin and Rita Mae Brown. The moving autobiography of Zitkala-Sa, whose mother was a Sioux, tells us more about "otherness" than any sociological treatise, while Janice Mirikitani's and Nellie Wong's poems about being young Asian-American women, like Alice Walker's meditation on the beauty of growing old, speak to all readers.

Works by nearly 100 American women authors, including Abigail Adams, Edith Wharton, Mary Gordon, Rita Mae Brown, and Cynthia Ozick, can be found in this provocative and compulsively readable collection which contains short stories, poems, essays, plays, speeches, performance pieces, erotica, diaries, correspondence, and even a few recipes.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A generous survey of American women's voices that is as remarkable for its quality as it is for its breadth....As textbook, reference work, or cover-to-cover recreational reading, this collection is an outstanding editorial achievement."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Editors Wagner-Martin and Davidson pay tribute to the vibrant variety of American women's lives and writing in this meandering and happily idiosyncratic anthology....a wonderful spectrum."--Booklist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wagner-Martin (Telling Women's Lives) and Davidson (Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) offer a generous survey of American women's voices that is as remarkable for its quality as it is for its breadth. Asserting that much writing by women has been neglected because ``it did not fit into existing literary categories,'' they have organized their selections-written by almost 100 writers from the colonial era to the present-into six spacious categories: short fiction (from Sarah Orne Jewett to Helena Mara Viramontes); poetry (Anne Bradstreet to Carolyn Forch); public lives (Revolutionary War-era feminist Judith Sargent Murray to Anna Quindlen); acting out (a speech by Sojourner Truth, an excerpt from Anna Deveare Smith's performance piece Fires in the Mirror); private lives (personal letters of Abigail Adams, Emma Goldman and Mary McCarthy); and bodily pleasures (Alice B. Toklas's Haschich Fudge recipe; surprisingly, Emily Dickinson's poetry is included in the category of ``Erotica.''). The forms include short stories, novellas and poems as well as more informal chants, meditations and monologues. The entries also are cross-referenced by topic: childhood, identity, love relationships, etc. Read front to back, the book dwells at first on women's power struggles with loutish, insensitive men, but it segues effectively into explorations of sexuality, ethnic and political issues and internal conflicts. Some of the pieces, such as Abigail Adams's letter to John (``I desire you would Remember the Ladies'') highlight what women have been able (and unable) to say with language at various points in American history; others, like Cynthia Ozick's ``The Shawl,'' testify to what women can do with language. As textbook, reference work or cover-to-cover recreational reading, this collection is an outstanding editorial achievement. (June)
KLIATT
This anthology is definitely eclectic, ranging from poetry to short fiction, from speeches to journals, from plays to (mild) erotica, from recipes to rituals and ceremonies. Although it is unusual to have some of these genres of writing included in an anthology, Wagner-Martin and Davidson claim in the Introduction that "women have recorded what is important to them." What I admire about this particular anthology is the variety of women's lives, ethnicities, and viewpoints that are depicted. Each chapter highlights a particular genre or closely related genres, with the writers arranged from past to present. It is important to point out that this anthology does not just represent expressly feminist writings. The scope of women writers here is staggering, truly too many to mention, but here is a sampling: Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Margaret Fuller, Sojourner Truth, Gloria Steinem, Gish Jen, and Abigail Adams. While this volume is by no means exhaustive, it does showcase nearly 100 writers whose works represent the greater body of women's writing. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1995, Oxford Univ. Press, 596p, 21cm, 95-1499, $18.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Janice Bees; Freelance Reviewer, Chicago, IL, July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
Library Journal
Just in time for the anniversary: a masterly and comprehensive anthology giving context to the long battle for the vote-and women's continuing struggle in the years since. Included here are short fiction, poems, essays, and speeches written in English over the last four centuries by 99 women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. (LJ 5/1/95)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195132458
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 1,018,883
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editors:

Linda Wagner-Martin and Cathy N. Davidson are the Editors in Chief of The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States. Wagner-Martin is Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her recent books include Telling Women's Lives: The New Biography and a forthcoming biography of Gertrude Stein. Davidson is Professor of English at Duke University; her many books include The Book of Love: Writers and their Love Letters and Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Part I Short Fiction 7
Tom's Husband 9
Tony's Wife 21
The Revolt Of "Mother" 27
The Yellow Wall-Paper 41
A Male Magdalene from Samantha vs. Josiah 56
A Pair Of Silk Stockings 63
The Other Two 68
Seventeen Syllables 83
Freedom 95
Sweat 100
O Yes 111
A Late Encounter With the Enemy 126
A Worn Path 135
The Shawl 143
Extenuating Circumstances 148
Miss Clairol 154
Recitatif 159
In the American Society 176
May's Lion 190
Life in the Iron-Mills 197
Old Mrs. Harris 229
Part II Poetry 273
1 Poetry from the Beginning 274
To My Dear and Loving Husband 275
The Flesh and the Spirit 276
On Imagination 279
The Soul Selects Her Own Society 280
This is My Letter to the World 281
My Life Had Stood--A Loaded Gun 281
After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes 282
Decade 283
The Poem as Mask 283
Lineage 284
Religion, from Ulysses 285
In an Iridescent Time 286
Woman Me 286
Lady Lazarus 287
2 Contemporary Poetry 291
Diving Into the Wreck 292
When I was Growing Up 294
The Thirty Eighth Year 296
Song for A Thin Sister 298
What the Gypsy Said to Her Children 299
Daystar 300
A History of costume 301
Suicide Note 305
Remember 307
As Children Together 308
Part III Public Lives 311
1 Women and the Nation 312
From On the Equality of the Sexes 313
A Woman at Forty, from Woman in the Nineteenth Century 316
The Working-Girls of New York, from Folly As It Flies 321
The Case Stated 323
2 The Struggle for Understanding 330
From The Higher Education of Women 331
The Coyote-Spirit and the Weaving Woman 337
Women Are Hungry 342
3 From the Personal to the Political 351
More Than Just a Shrine: Paying Homage to the Ghosts of Ellis Island 352
Longing to Die of Old Age 356
Last Words on Vietnam, 1987 358
Amazons in Appalachia 365
If Men Could Menstruate 372
Why I Want a Wife 375
The Good Guys 377
Part IV Acting Out 379
1 Plays 380
Overtones 381
Trifles: A Play in one Act 393
Bitter Cane 407
2 Speeches and Performance Pieces 441
Ain's I a Woman? 441
Men in Your Life 443
From United States 447
Roslyn Malamud: the Coup, from Fires in the Mirror 452
3 Rituals and Ceremonies 457
Native American Ritual 458
Kopis'taya (a Gathering of Spirits) 466
Naming Power 468
The Foot-Washing 470
From The Women of Brewster Place 471
The Sixth Work: Rituals for the Extended Family, from Jambalaya 474
The Ceremonies of Community, from The Telling 479
Part V Private Lives 489
1 The Republic of Women's Letters 490
To John Adams 491
Letter to the Editors of Freedom's Journal 492
Letter XV: Man Equally Guilty with Woman in the Fall 493
2 Women in the Nineteenth Century 498
Diary 499
Afternoon in the Woods, from Rural Hours 502
The Trials of Girlhood, from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl 504
To John Brown 507
To Louisa Picquet 508
Diary 509
3 Turning the Century 512
To Liane De Pougy 513
To Ben Reitman 514
From The School Days of an Indian Girl 514
From Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian 523
One Farmer's Wife 533
4 Modern Voices 536
To Anita Pollitzer 537
Names, from Memories of a Catholic Girlhood 539
From Storyteller 546
To Gabriela, A Young Writer 547
Part VI Bodily Pleasures 551
1 Recipes 552
The Last Return From the Sea, from The Captain's Lady's Cookbook 553
Bass for Picasso, from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book 554
Sunday Revival Dinner, from The Taste of Country Cooking 556
Los Dias De Los Muertos, from Food From My Heart 563
2 Erotica 568
Wild Nights--Wild Nights! 569
Come Slowly--Eden! 569
Volcanoes Be in Sicily 570
The Storm, A Sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball" 570
From Lifting Belly 575
I Want to Die While You Love Me 577
Sea Rose 577
Mandra, II, from Little Birds 578
Sappho's Reply 580
She Didn't Think We Were Married 581
Fifteen, from Autumn Sequence 581
Acknowledgments 583
Topical Listing of Contents 591
Index 595
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)