Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History

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Overview

Starting with the figure of the bold, boisterous girl in the mid-nineteenth century and ending with the "girl power" movement of the 1990s, Tomboys is the first full-length critical study of this gender-bending code of female conduct. Michelle Abate uncovers the origins, charts the trajectory, and traces the literary and cultural transformations that the concept of "tomboy" has undergone in the United States. Abate focuses on literature including Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding and films such as Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon and Jon Avnet's Fried Green Tomatoes. She also draws on lesser-known texts like E.D.E.N. Southworth's once wildly popular 1859 novel The Hidden Hand, Cold War lesbian pulp fiction, and New Queer Cinema from the 1990s.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592137220
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Ann Abate is an Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction From Antebellum Hoyden to Millennial Girl Power; The Unwritten History (and Hidden History) of Tomboyism in the United States

1 The White Tomboy Launches a Gender Backlash: E. D. E. N. Southworth's The Hidden Hand 1

2 The Tomboy Becomes a Cultural Phenomenon: Louisa May Alcott's Little Women 24

3 The Tomboy Matures Into the New Woman: Sarah Orne Jewett's A Country Doctor 50

4 The Tomboy is Reinvented as the Exercise Enthusiast: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland 72

5 The Tomboy Becomes the All-Americanizing Girl: Willa Cather's O Pioneers! and My Antonia 97

6 The Tomboy Shifts From Feminist to Flapper: Clara Bow in Victor Fleming's Hula 120

7 The Tomboy Turns Freakishly Queer and Queerly Freakish: Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding 145

8 The Tomboy Becomes the "Odd Girl Out": Ann Bannon's Women in the Shadows 171

9 The Tomboy Returns to Hollywood: Tatum O'Neal in Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon 195

Epilogue: The Tomboy "Comes Into the Light": Transformations to White Feminism, the Emergence of Whiteness Studies and the End of Racialized White Tomboyism 221

Selected Bibliography 241

Works Cited 261

Index 289

Photographs follow page 144

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Parents room

    A big bed with blue comforters. A closet with a computer and a blue dog bed. A shelf with a computer in a small part of the room. Closet is in part with shelf and computer. Two doors one for entering and one right to bathroom. A litter box next to a water bowl and a bowl full of cat food.

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