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Metafiction and Metahistory in Contemporary Women
 
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Metafiction and Metahistory in Contemporary Women's Writing
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
11 Apr 2007
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£65.00
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9780230005044
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

In recent years, historical fiction, particularly that by women authors, has been at the cutting edge of postmodern reconceptualisations of the past and of contemporary worlds. This collection examines the dynamic experimentation of contemporary women writers from North America, Australia, and the UK, offering new insights into the works of internationally acclaimed as well as popular writers, including Florence Barclay, A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Caryl Churchill, Helen Darville, Stevie Davies, Eva Figes, Philippa Gregory, Susan Kenney, Daphne Marlatt, Sena Jeter Naslund, Michèle Roberts, Alice Thompson, and Jeannette Winterson. Blurring the dichotomies of the popular and the literary, the fictional and the factual, and covering those narratives that defy categorisation, the essays assembled in this volume offer new approaches to reading contemporary women fiction writers' reconfigurations of history.


Description

In recent years, historical fiction, particularly that by women authors, has been at the cutting edge of postmodern reconceptualisations of the past and of contemporary worlds. This collection examines the dynamic experimentation of contemporary women writers from North America, Australia, and the UK, offering new insights into the works of internationally acclaimed as well as popular writers, including Florence Barclay, A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Caryl Churchill, Helen Darville, Stevie Davies, Eva Figes, Philippa Gregory, Susan Kenney, Daphne Marlatt, Sena Jeter Naslund, Michèle Roberts, Alice Thompson, and Jeannette Winterson. Blurring the dichotomies of the popular and the literary, the fictional and the factual, and covering those narratives that defy categorisation, the essays assembled in this volume offer new approaches to reading contemporary women fiction writers' reconfigurations of history.


Reviews

'This important collection of essays catches a current literary (and literary critical) moment, engaging directly with the steady and seemingly continuing interest in the past shown by contemporary women writers of fiction. In particular, it offers the contemporary literary critic a series of authoritative guides on how to straddle historical periods whilst remaining firmly rooted in the twenty-first century - this is a much needed volume.' - Lucie Armitt, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Salford, UK

'The chapters are wide-ranging in their thematic and historical scope, traversing various centuries, genres, and critical frameworks... this volume makes a timely contribution to a current and dynamic field of enquiry.' - Rebecca Munford, Contemporary Women's Writing


Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Metafiction and Metahistory in Contemporary Women's Writing; A.Heilmann & M.Llewellyn
PART ONE: TOWARDS A RECONCEPTUALIZATION OF HISTORY AND IDENTITY
The Witch, The Puritan and the Prophet: Historical Novels and Seventeenth-Century History; Katharine Hodgkin
History as Story in Angela Carter's American Ghosts and Old World Wonders; Sarah Gamble
Falling off the Edge of the World: History and Gender in Daphne Marlatt's Ana Historic; Sherry Booth
Time, Space and (Her)Story in the Fiction of Eva Figes; Julia Tofantsuk
From Demidenko to Darville: Behind the Scenes of a Literary Carnival; Rachel Morley
PART TWO: HISTORIOGRAPHIC RE-VISIONINGS
Historicizing Witchcraft Throughout the Ages: Joanna Baillie and Caryl Churchill; Christine A.Colón
The Benefits of Watching the Circus Animals Desert: Myth, Yeats, and Patriarchy in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus; Michael Sinowitz
Passion and Possession as Alternatives to 'Cosmic Masculinity' in 'Herstorical' Romances; Georges Letissier
Michèle Roberts: Histories and Herstories in In the Red Kitchen, Fair Exchange and The Looking Glass; Sarah Falcus
PART THREE: GENERIC EXPERIMENTATIONS WITH GENDER AND GENRE
Rewriting The Rover; Johanna M.Smith
The Convent Novel and the Uses of History; Diana Wallace
The Revenge of a Stereotype: Re-Writing the History of the Gothic Heroine in Alice Thompson's Justine; Maria Vara
The Resisting Writer: Revisiting the Canon, Rewriting History in Sena Jeter Naslund's Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer; Jeanette King
Breaking the Mould? Sarah Waters and the Politics of Genre; Mark Llewellyn
Index


Authors

ANN HEILMANN is a Professor of English at the University of Hull, UK. The author of New Woman Fiction and New Woman Strategies: Sarah Grand, Olive Schreiner, Mona Caird, she has edited two previous essay collections, Feminist Forerunners and (with Margaret Beetham) New Woman Hybridities.

MARK LLEWELLYN is a researcher in the School of English at the University of Liverpool, UK. He has co-edited (with Ann Heilmann) four special issues on the theme of women's historical fiction for Women: a cultural review, Women's Writing, Critical Survey and Feminist Review.