Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice

Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice

by Stephanie Golden

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940011270819
Publisher: Stephanie Golden
Publication date: 04/06/2011
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 405 KB

About the Author

Got the Girl Scouts' Writer badge (the only one that interested me) when I was 12: that signaled the future. I began writing fiction, but discovered that what really compelled me was literary nonfiction--especially once I developed a way to use a central image as a method of analysis. An image constrains and focuses thoughts while allowing you to come at your material from many different directions without losing coherence, since the analysis acquires its form from the structure of the image. I used this method for both my literary nonfiction books: For *The Women Outside,* a study of homeless and marginal women, it was the figure of the witch. For *Slaying the Mermaid,* about women and self-sacrifice, it was Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid. Literary nonfiction didn't pay the rent, but I like writing books, so I became a book collaborator and wrote five other books with experts. (For a series of articles on how book collaboration works, see my website: And since for a freelancer diversifying = security, I started writing all sorts of other things: magazine articles, newsletters, reports for nonprofits, grant proposals, training manuals, and lately websites.

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Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
EAG on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is an important book deserving a wide audience. I was initially sceptical of the author¿s journalist credentials, assuming her treatment would amount to little more than pop psychology. Boy was I wrong. Despite her conversational tone and sometime confessional approach, I was amazed by the depth and breadth of her analysis. This is independent scholarship at its best: Free of academic jargon and ideological conceits, Stephanie Golden manages not only to assemble a remarkable amount of research but to tease out some fascinating insights as to how the concept of sacrifice mediates the female experience of and engagement with the world. What I found particularly impressive was her multi-faceted and multi-layered approach. Remaining sensitive throughout to how (self-)sacrifice is internalized and manifests itself across cultural, racial and generational divides Golden draws on sources as varied as history, mythology, religious iconography, analytic psychology, biology and personal interviews, weaving what begin as disparate, seemingly unconnected strands into a seamless whole by the book¿s end. Although she strongly disputes essentialist theories about women¿s innate masochism, this book is not a polemic. Rather, it is an uncommonly sensitive and sensible exploration of how women¿s lives tend to be marked by self-denial and the ease with which we, often against our own best interests, put others¿ needs and desires ahead of our own.