Writing a Woman's Life

Overview

"A provocative study that should be in every writer's library."—Washington Post
In this modern classic, Carolyn G. Heilbrun builds an eloquent argument demonstrating that writers conform all too often to society's expectations of what women should be like at the expense of the truth of the female experience. Drawing on the careers of celebrated authors including Virginia Woolf, George Sand, and Dorothy Sayers, Heilbrun illustrates the struggle these writers undertook in both work and life to break away from ...

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Overview

"A provocative study that should be in every writer's library."—Washington Post
In this modern classic, Carolyn G. Heilbrun builds an eloquent argument demonstrating that writers conform all too often to society's expectations of what women should be like at the expense of the truth of the female experience. Drawing on the careers of celebrated authors including Virginia Woolf, George Sand, and Dorothy Sayers, Heilbrun illustrates the struggle these writers undertook in both work and life to break away from traditional "male" scripts for women's roles.

With great eloquence, this author shows how throughout the centuries, those who write about woman's lives--biographers and autobiographers--have suppressed the truth of the female experience, in order to make the written life conform to society's expectations of what that life should be.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to Heilbrun ( Reinventing Womanhood , LJ 4/1/79), women's lives and the stories of those lives have been steeped in the language and power of men, making some stories unthinkable and others contrived. Not until the 1970s have there been stories freely and openly expressing the achievements, ambitions, and experiences of women from all walks of life. By examining the traditional written accounts of women's lives and the facts omitted or underplayed, Heilbrun suggests new ways for women to write biography and autobiography. Though a clearer development and connection of some of the issues and topics would have made for an even more interesting presentation, this book is provocative. Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393331646
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 456,127
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn G. Heilbrun (1926–2003) was a professor of English at Columbia University. A force in literary and feminist theory, she also wrote mysteries under the pen name Amanda Cross.

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