Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women

Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women

3.3 3
by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Scare Tactics identifies an important but overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women. Jeffrey Weinstock analyzes this tradition as an essentially feminist attempt to imagine alternatives to a world of limited possibilities. In the process, he recovers the lives and works of authors who were important during their lifetimes and in the development

See more details below

Overview

Scare Tactics identifies an important but overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women. Jeffrey Weinstock analyzes this tradition as an essentially feminist attempt to imagine alternatives to a world of limited possibilities. In the process, he recovers the lives and works of authors who were important during their lifetimes and in the development of the American literary tradition, but who are not recognized today for their contributions. Between the end of the Civil War and roughly 1930, hundreds of uncanny tales were published by women in the periodical press and in books. These include stories by familiar figures such as Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as by authors almost wholly unknown to twenty-first-century readers, such as Josephine Dodge Bacon, Alice Brown, Emma Frances Dawson, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. Focusing on this tradition of female writing offers a corrective to the prevailing belief within American literary scholarship that the uncanny tale, exemplified by the literary productions of Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne, was displaced after the Civil War by literary realism. Beyond the simple existence of an unacknowledged tradition of uncanny literature by women, Scare Tactics makes a strong case that this body of literature should be read as a specifically feminist literary tradition. Especially intriguing, Weinstock demonstrates, is that women authors repeatedly used Gothic conventions to express discontentment with circumscribed roles for women creating types of political intervention connected to the broader sphere of women's rights activism. Paying attention to these overlooked authors helps us better understand not only the literary marketplace of their time, but also more familiar American Gothicists from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson to Stephen King.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A very well written book. Its scholarship is excellent and it both fills a gap and leaves us asking more questions about what's hidden, what's coded, what's secretly influential in women's ghost stories of the era. Gina Wisker . . . Weinstock makes a cogent and compelling argument for the importance of these texts and demonstrates how women used the tropes of supernatural fiction to critique women's roles in Victorian and Edwardian American society. -Kathy Davis Patterson Weinstock's writing style is lively and accessible with the academic jargon kept to a minimum, so this book should be accessible to both scholars and those general readers willing to work a little at familiarizing themselves with the basic terminology of literary criticism. -Kestrell Rath

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823229857
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
09/15/2008
Edition description:
2
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >