Southern Women Playwrights: New Essays in Literary History and Criticism

Overview

This timely collection addresses the neglected state of scholarship on southern women dramatists by bringing together the latest criticism on some of the most important playwrights of the 20th century.

Coeditors Robert McDonald and Linda Rohrer Paige attribute the neglect of southern women playwrights in scholarly criticism to "deep historical prejudices" against drama itself and against women artists in general, especially in the South. Their call for critical awareness is ...

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Southern Women Playwrights: New Essays in History and Criticism

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Overview

This timely collection addresses the neglected state of scholarship on southern women dramatists by bringing together the latest criticism on some of the most important playwrights of the 20th century.

Coeditors Robert McDonald and Linda Rohrer Paige attribute the neglect of southern women playwrights in scholarly criticism to "deep historical prejudices" against drama itself and against women artists in general, especially in the South. Their call for critical awareness is answered by the 15 essays they include in Southern Women Playwrights, considerations of the creative work of universally acclaimed playwrights such as Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, and Lillian Hellman (the so-called "Trinity") in addition to that of less-studied playwrights, including Zora Neale Hurston, Carson McCullers, Alice Childress, Naomi Wallace, Amparo Garcia, Paula Vogel, and Regina Porter.

This collection springs from a series of associated questions regarding the literary and theatrical heritage of the southern woman playwright, the unique ways in which southern women have approached the conventional modes of comedy and tragedy, and the ways in which the South, its types and stereotypes, its peculiarities, its traditions-both literary and cultural-figure in these women's plays. Especially relevant to these questions are essays on Lillian Hellman, who resisted the label "southern writer," and Carson McCullers, who never attempted to ignore her southernness.

This book begins by recovering little-known or unknown episodes in the history of southern drama and by examining the ways plays assumed importance in the lives of southern women in the early 20th century. It concludes with a look at one of the most vibrant, diverse theatre scenes outside New York today-Atlanta.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"On issues of originality and significance, I am not aware that this collection has a rival in the marketplace."— Milly Barranger, author of Southern Playwrights:A Perspective on Women Writers

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310806
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert L. McDonald is Associate Professor of English at Virginia Military Institue and editor of The Critical Response to Erskine Caldwell. Linda Rohrer Paige is Associate Professor of English at Georgia Southern University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 The Current State of Scholarship on Southern Women Playwrights 1
2 "Let the People Sing!": Zora Neale Hurston and the Dream of a Negro Theater 11
3 These Four: Hellman's Roots Are Showing 27
4 Carson McCullers, Lillian Smith, and the Politics of Broadway 42
5 The Delayed Entrance of Lily Mae Jenkins: Queer Identity, Gender Ambiguity, and Southern Ambivalence in Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding 61
6 "Controversy Only Means Disagreement": Alice Children's Activist Drama 73
7 Role-ing on the River: Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Southern Woman Playwright 89
8 Precursor and Protege: Lillian Hellman and Marsha Norman 103
9 "Un-ruling" the Woman: Comedy and the Plays of Beth Henley and Rebecca Gilman 124
10 Pseudonymy and Identity Politics: Exploring "Jane Martin" 139
11 Dialectic and the Drama of Naomi Wallace 154
12 Amparo Garcia and the Eyes of Tejas: Texas Community through Mexicana Eyes 169
13 Reconfiguring History: Migration, Memory, and (Re)Membering in Suzan-Lori Parks's Plays 183
14 The Memory Palace in Paula Vogel's Plays 198
15 Postmodern Monologues in Regina Porter's Tripping through the Car House 218
16 Southern Women Playwrights and the Atlanta Hub: Home Is the Place Where You Go 230
Contributors 247
Index 251
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