Tomboys: A Literary and Cultural History

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An ambitious and exciting book that examines representations of what could be considered tomboys, in U.S. fiction and film, since 1859. The scope is impressive: Abate has done a great deal of archival research to unearth the titles she examines and cites many relevant theoretical and critical texts.”—Beverly Lyon Clark, Wheaton College
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592137237
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (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 
2. The Tomboy Becomes a Cultural Phenomenon: Louisa May Alcott's Little Women 
3. The Tomboy Matures Into the New Woman: Sarah Orne Jewett's A Country Doctor 
4. The Tomboy is Reinvented an the Exercise Enthusiast: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland 
5. The Tomboy Becomes the All-Americanizing Girl: Willa Cather's O Pioneers! and My Antonia 
6. The Tomboy Shifts From Feminist to Flapper: Clara Bow in Victor Fleming's Hula 
7. The Tomboy Turns Freakishly Queer and Queerly Freakish: Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding 
8. The Tomboy Becomes the "Odd Girl Out": Ann Bannon's Women in the Shadows 
9. The Tomboy Returns to Hollywood: Tatum O'Neal in Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon 
Selected Bibliography 
Works Cited 
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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