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A to Z of American Women Writers
     

A to Z of American Women Writers

by Carol Kort
 
In the canon of American literature, most of the writers traditionally included have almost always been men. In A to Z of American Women Writers, this common mispercerption is dispelled as more than 150 women, whose works span four centuries and have greatly influenced American writing, are profiled. Although this list of women is by no means exhaustive, the

Overview

In the canon of American literature, most of the writers traditionally included have almost always been men. In A to Z of American Women Writers, this common mispercerption is dispelled as more than 150 women, whose works span four centuries and have greatly influenced American writing, are profiled. Although this list of women is by no means exhaustive, the writers profiled represent a great diversity in the time periods during which they lived, and their genres, writing styles, and subject matters.

Each profile features:

•An indepth examination of its subject's biography

•Literary and personal influences as well as a discussion of each writer's major works

•A further reading section at the end of the profile listing sources for further study on the author or her works.

Three subject indexes—one by genre, another by the dates of birth, and a third by theme are included, with a general index.

Profiles include:

Mary Rowlandson (c. 16351711): Nonfiction writer

Harriet Beecher Stowe (18111896): Novelist

Harriet A. Jacobs (18131897): Autobiographer

Nellie Bly (18651922): Journalist

Pearl S. Buck (18921973): Novelist and Autobiographer

Dorothy Parker (18931767): Critic, Short Story Writer, and Poet

Toni Morrison (1931present): Novelist and Essayist

Joan Didion (1934-present): Novelist, Essayist, and Journalist

Maxine Hong Kingston (1940-present): Novelist and Memoirist

Rita Dowe (1952-present): Poet and Short Story Writer

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Kort profiles more than 150 American women writers whose works span a variety of genres and time periods in this clearly written and well-organized biographical dictionary, part of the Library of American History series. Her selection of poets, essayists, novelists, journalists, and others is based on providing a broad representation of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds and the availability of the writers' works. Because the entries are alphabetically arranged, this diversity is reflected by happenstance throughout the volume. Author entries cover a period that ranges from the seventeenth century, such as the work of nonfiction writer Mary Rowlandson, through the present time, such as novelist Toni Morrison and poet Rita Dove. Dorothy Parker, well-known critic, short story writer, and poet, is portrayed as well as journalist Nelly Bly. A thorough table of contents enables the reader to determine whether an author is included, or one may browse the indexes by genre, region/subject matter/background/style, or year of birth for more specialized arrangements of the material. The entries are informative and written in a lively, engaging style, making this reference book a pleasure to read. Each entry is peppered with titles and concludes with a brief list for further reading of both the author's works and of critical works. Photographs of many of the authors enhance the book as well. The text is loaded with cross-references, and it is easy to use. A scattering of typos does mar the text; it is hoped that these will be caught in future editions. Steer self-motivated readers as well as students with assignments to this invaluable resource. It will build reading lists as well as providea springboard for research. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. 2000, Facts on File, 274p. PLB $40. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Donna Scanlon

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Library Journal
Journalist and editor Kort has produced a solid compendium of biographical profiles of over 150 women writers from the entire lifespan of American literature. Here Ann Rice bumps into Sylvia Plath, and Amy Tan follows Harriet Beecher Stowe. In mostly one-page entries, Kort profiles the heavyweights of American literature (e.g., Elizabeth Dickinson, Willa Cather, and Kate Chopin) as well as writers like Jean Auel, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Sue Grafton. She offers biographical information about each writer, including birth and death dates; brief comments on her career (e.g., preferred genre, pseudonyms, and major works); and short bibliographies of books by and about each author. Three subject indexes--genre, date of birth, and theme--complement the general index and add additional points of access for students. Similar to but not as helpful as The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States (LJ 11/15/94), which is more comprehensive, this work is recommended for high school and public libraries looking for another inexpensive "first-stop" reference book.--Neal Wyatt, Chesterfield Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-Kort provides concise biographical and critical summaries of more than 150 writers and their work. Entries include a range of authors, both historical and contemporary, from Anne Bradstreet to Maxine Hong Kingston. Popular writers such as Sue Grafton, Ursula Le Guin, and Sara Paretsky, and women who were born in other countries but have made their home in the United States are also included. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, and essays, as well as editorial work are all represented. The author has included a few quotes to show styles or comments of critics. The alphabetic arrangement, readable style, and three subject indexes (genre, subject and region, and birthdate) make this volume accessible to students. Although it is not as scholarly as Cynthia Davis and Kathryn West's Women Writers in the United States (Oxford, 1996), it does offer plenty of good background information.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
These brief biographies convey just enough information to satisfy the mildly curious with information on the personal lives, influences, works, and careers of 150 writers (in all genres). Each one-to-two page entry concludes with a short list of sources for further study; some include a b&w photo. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Womens Studies Librarian
...this biographical dictionary will be quite useful to high school and college students.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816066933
Publisher:
Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Series:
A to Z of Women Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
7.57(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.21(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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