Catalogue


Women coauthors /
Holly A. Laird.
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2000.
description
x, 329 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0252025474 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2000.
isbn
0252025474 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3810100
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-12-01:
Texts on literary coauthorship have tended to concentrate on attribution controversies. However, Laird (Univ. of Tulsa) argues that collaborative authorship can be read as a new type of social and erotic relationship. She explores a wide range of collaborative relationships, including those of the Delany sisters and May Hill Hearth, lesbian couple Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper (who together wrote under the name "Michael Field"), and Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris. The models of literary creation that emerge through Laird's examination of women's literary partnerships (whether with other women or with men) challenge traditional understandings of the author as a stable, authentic origin. Laird's close readings enhance poststructuralist assertions of the death of the author. She convincingly argues that collaboration itself becomes a theme in these texts. Like other works on coauthorship--e.g., Jack Stillinger's Multiple Authorship and the Myth of the Solitary Genius (1991) and Wayne Koestenbaum's Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (1989)--Laird's study examines the myth of the solitary genius, homophobic anxiety, and the commodification of the literary text; but she also brings the question of gender to bear on these issues, producing a much needed exploration of women's coauthorship in particular. Recommended for all audiences, undergraduate and above. H. A. Booth; SUNY at Buffalo
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The models of literary creation that emerge through Laird's examination of women's literary partnerships . . . challenge traditional understandings of the author as a stable, authentic origin. . . . A much needed exploration of women's coauthorship." -- Choice "Providing an engaging corrective to such unilateral views of the multivalent phenomenon known as authorship . . . [Laird] lucidly delineates a deromanticized group portrait of the multiple artists under her consideration. . . . Laird's deft synthesis remains always specific in support, meticulously argued, and readable." -- Katharine Rodier, Modern Fiction Studies "A splendid study of a complex topic that offers more . . . than the sum of its parts. . . . Laird has offered a theory of collaboration that will change our understanding of authorship for good." -- George E. Haggerty, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature ADVANCE PRAISE"Lucid, elegantly written, impeccably researched, and extremely useful. . . . Laird's book propels the reader forward, eager to find out what happens next. It sustained my interest from the first page to the last."-- Susan Leonardi, author of Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists "Brilliant. . . . This original, imaginative, wide-ranging, and erudite study provides an entirely new way of mapping the territory of women's collaboration and offers a powerful set of critical paradigms for rethinking the question of women's coauthorship." -- Marianne DeKoven, author of Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2000
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Summaries
Main Description
Until recently, collaborative authorship has barely been considered by scholars; when it has, the focus has been on discovering who contributed what and who dominated whom in the relationship and in the writing. In Women Coauthors , Holly Laird reads coauthored texts as the realization of new kinds of relationship. Through close scrutiny of literary collaborations in which women writers have played central roles, Women Coauthors shows how partnerships in writing--between two women or between a woman and a man--provide a paradigm of literary creativity that complicates traditional views of both author and text and makes us revise old habits of thinking about writing. Focusing on the social dynamics of literary production, including the conversations that precede and surround collaborative writing, Women Coauthors treats its coauthored texts as representations as well as acts of collaboration. Holly A. Laird discusses a wide array of partial and full coauthorships to reveal how these texts blur or remap often uncanny boundaries of self, status, race, reason, and culture. Among the many partnerships discussed are black-white collaborations, such as that of the Delany sisters and Amy Hill Hearth on Having Our Say ; lesbian couples whose lives and writings were intertwined, including Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper ("Michael Field") and Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas; and the Native American wife-and-husband authors Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris. Framed in time by the feminist and abolitionist movements of the mid-nineteenth century and the ongoing social struggles surrounding gender, race, and sexuality in the late twentieth century, the partnerships and texts observed in Women Coauthors explore collaboration as a path toward equity, both socioliterary and erotic. For the authors here who collaborate most fully with each other, two are much better than one.
Unpaid Annotation
Until recently, collaborative authorship has barely been considered by scholars; when it has, the focus has been on discovering who contributed what and who dominated whom in the relationship and in the writing.In Women Coauthors, Holly A. Laird reads coauthored texts as the realization of new kinds of relationships. Through close scrutiny of literary collaborations in which women writers have played central roles, Women Coauthors shows how partnerships in writing -- between two women or between a woman and a man -- provide a paradigm of literary creativity that complicates traditional views of both author and text and makes us revise old habits of thinking about writing.Focusing on the social dynamics of literary production, including the conversations that precede and surround collaborative writing, Women Coauthors treats its coauthored texts as representations as well as acts of collaboration. Laird discusses a wide array of partial and full coauthorships to reveal how these texts blur or remap often uncanny boundaries of self, status, race, reason, and culture. Among the many partnerships discussed are black-white collaborations, such as that of the Delany sisters and Amy Hill Hearth on Having Our Say; lesbian couples whose lives and writings were intertwined, including Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper ("Michael Field") and Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas; and the Native American wife-and-husband authors Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris.Framed in time by the feminist and abolitionist movements of the mid-nineteenth century and the ongoing social struggles surrounding gender, race, and sexuality in the late twentieth century, the partnerships and texts observed inWomen Coauthors explore collaboration as a path toward equity, both socioliterary and erotic.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Collaborative Desire
Originality and Collaboration: John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor in the Autobiography
Black/White, Author/Editor Friction: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself
Contradictory Legacies: Michael Field and Feminist Restoration
Uncanny Couplings: Anglo-Irish Big House Gothic in Somerville and Ross
Rewriting the Uncanny: H.D., Redgrove and Shuttle
Rewriting Writing: Stein and Toklas, Marlatt and Warland
Rewriting America: Erdrich and Dorris, the Delany Sisters, and Ossie Guffy
Conclusion
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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