Telling Women's Lives: The New Biography / Edition 1

Telling Women's Lives: The New Biography / Edition 1

by Linda Wagner-Martin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813523753

ISBN-13: 9780813523750

Pub. Date: 06/01/1996

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

"A well-researched, engrossing history and critique of biographies of women. . . . A significant and provocative contribution to postfeminist literary criticism." --Kirkus Reviews
"An insightful introduction to the art of biography by and about women. . . . Recommended." --Library Journal
"An exhaustive survey of the issues, problems, and ethical dilemmas…  See more details below

Overview

"A well-researched, engrossing history and critique of biographies of women. . . . A significant and provocative contribution to postfeminist literary criticism." --Kirkus Reviews
"An insightful introduction to the art of biography by and about women. . . . Recommended." --Library Journal
"An exhaustive survey of the issues, problems, and ethical dilemmas faced by biographers, and . . . a compelling reflection on the framing of any interpretive project, on the questions of voice and perspective, selection and organization, objectivity and invention." --Signs
"This intelligent analysis of women's biographies is insightful, fascinating, and much needed. . . . Anyone will read women's biographies with a fresh eye after this." --Choice
"A compelling analysis of the power structures and unspoken personal investments that define biography as a genre and as a cultural institution." --Shari Benstock, author of Women of the Left Bank and "No Gifts from Chance": A Biography of Edith Wharton
"An insider's view of biographers at work, complete with lively revelations about what doesn't go into print. I read it with pleasure and admiration." --Diane Middlebrook, author of Anne Sexton: A Biography
"A splendidly engrossing story-about-how-to-tell-a-story. This is an engaging book of ideas and gossip, humor and new information, people and publishing--by a woman biographer who seems to know everything about everyone." --Emily Toth, author of Kate Chopin: A Life of the Author of "The Awakening"
Placing herself in the avid reader's chair, Linda Wagner-Martin writes about women's biography from George Eliot and Virgina Woolf to Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Mead, and even to Cher and Elizabeth Taylor. Along the way, she looks at dozens of other life stories, probing at the differences between biographies of men and women, prevailing stereotypes about women's lives and roles, questions about what is public and private, and hazy margins between autobiography, biography, and other genres.
Linda Wagner-Martin is Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of "Favored Strangers": Gertrude Stein and Her Family, Sylvia Plath: A Biography, and other books.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813523750
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/01/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
226
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Biography: The Old and the New5
2Telling Women's Lives11
Controversial Material
Ethical Issues
Issues of Sentiment
Avoiding Stereotypical Responses
3The Trap of the Stereotype20
4Relinquishing Stereotypes30
Versions of the George Eliot Biography
The Stories of Emily Bronte
5The Biographer's Problem: Women as Wives44
The Search for Nora Joyce
The Several Hadley Hemingway Stories
The Presidential Wife Saga
6A Woman's Self: Wives and Writers57
The Lindbergh Legends
Women's Stories of the Exotic
7The Power of Naming69
Lillian Hellman's Memoirs
Stein, Woolf, and Parody
Critical Reaction
8Listening to Women's Stories85
9Writing about Mothers94
Absent Mothers
Famous Mothers
Scandalous Mothers
10Taking Control of Story: Women's Voices111
The Kate Chopin Biographies
The Edith Wharton Biographies
A Husband's (or Brother's) Control
11Families of Women124
Biographies of Women in Groups
Biographies of Friends and Foremothers
The Marginalized Subject and Readers
The Biographer's Need to Affirm
12The Best of Them135
Milford's Zelda
Thurman's Dinesen
Fitch's Bookshop Biography
Howard's Mead
A Pulitzer Winner
Bair's de Beauvoir
Davis's Nella Larsen
13Popular Biography151
14Revisionist Biographies of Women159
Biography: Moving toward Fiction?
Fiction: Moving toward Biography?
Further Definitions
Notes173
Bibliography183
Index193

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