Women have been writing about their lives for hundreds of years, and their autobiographical works are a record of the eras and cultures in which they lived. Through nearly 200 alphabetically arranged entries written by more than 130 expert contributors, this encyclopedia overviews women autobiographers and autobiography from the Middle Ages to the present. Entries discuss individual writers, major works, national and ethnic autobiographical traditions, particular autobiographical genres, and special terms, issues, and themes related to women's autobiography from around the world. Entries cite works for further reading, and the encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography.
Women have been writing autobiographical works for centuries, and these texts are a valuable source of information about their lives and times. They reflect the personal experiences of their authors as well as the larger cultural, political, and intellectual contexts in which they lived and wrote. Multicultural in scope and the first work of its kind, this encyclopedia overviews more than 400 years of autobiographical writing by women.
Working with the assistance of distinguished scholar and advisory editor Emmanuel S. Nelson, the volume editors have assembled nearly 200 alphabetically arranged entries by more than 130 expert contributors. The entries cover individual writers and major works, particular autobiographical genres, national and ethnic autobiographical traditions, and special issues, themes, and terms related to women's autobiography.
Because of the sustained interest in works by women writers and the centrality of many of these works to the curriculum, high school libraries will need this essential reference. Public libraries supporting research in this area will also find it a valuable guide to the rich tradition of life writing by women and to the wider realm of gender studies.
Entries encourage students to write about their own lives.
Highlights the literary contributions of women across time and cultures.
Promotes respect for cultural diversity.
Assists students in understanding literary genres and forms.
Helps students compare and contrast literary works from different periods and places.
Entries serve as models for student writing.
Helps students relate literature to history, since autobiographies often reflect historical events.
Aids students in understanding texts central to the curriculum.
Introduces students to less widely studied authors.
Contains nearly 200 alphabetically arranged entries.
Gathers together the work of more than 130 scholars.
Provides biographical entries.
Includes entries on numerous special topics.
Covers women's autobiography from around the world.
Spans women's autobiography from the ancient world to the present.
Entries cite current research.
Includes an extensive index.
Entries are fully cross-referenced.
Presents a selected, general bibliography of major works.
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About the Author
Victoria Boynton is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York, Cortland. She teaches in the Professional Writing Program and has published articles in rhetoric, women's studies, and multicultural literature as well as short stories and poetry. She has co-edited Herspace: Women, Writing, and Solitude with Jo Malin.
Jo Malin is a project director in the School of Education and Human Development and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York, Binghamton. Her previous books include The Voice of the Mother: Embedded Narratives in Twentieth Century Women's Autobiographies (2000) and Herspace: Women, Writing and Solitude (2003).
Table of Contents
Alphabetical List of Entries
Guide to Related Topics
Appendix: List of Autobiography Writers by Ethnicity or Nationality
About the Editors and Contributors