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Persuasive fictions : feminist narrative and critical myth /
Anna Wilson.
Lewisburg, [PA] : Bucknell University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2001.
161 p.
0838754821 (alk. paper)
More Details
Lewisburg, [PA] : Bucknell University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2001.
0838754821 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-02-01:
A commonly held assumption in recent criticism of contemporary women's fiction is that feminist writing changes lives. Marie Lauret's Liberating Literature: Feminist Fiction in America (1994), Rita Felski's Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change (CH, Mar'89), and Lisa Hogeland's Feminism and Its Fictions: The Consciousness-Raising Novel and the Women's Liberation Movement (CH, Dec'98) stand as examples of this trend. In the present volume, Wilson (Birmingham Univ., UK) challenges the assertion that feminist texts create social change. The author demonstrates that the critical and popular reception of feminist texts is unpredictable and needs to be examined within specific historical conditions of both writing and reading. Further, she convincingly argues that efforts to prove that a particular text resists or conforms to dominant culture do not adequately capture the complexity of the production and reception histories. To support her claims, Wilson explores a variety of genres, including novels, feature films, political pamphlets, feminist criticism, documentaries, and autobiographies. Recommended for libraries supporting work at the upper-division undergraduate level and above. H. A. Booth SUNY at Buffalo
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Choice, February 2002
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Unpaid Annotation
Persuasive Fictions challenges the current orthodoxy in feminist criticism and pedagogy that "books change lives" by reexamining key feminist texts that attempted to be instruments for both personal and social change in the lives of their readers. The book uses reception studies of writers from Mary Wollstonecraft to Marilyn French to show that feminists' faith in the power of written or filmic texts as principal means to social change has been misplaced. It emphasizes important "second-wave" works of popular feminism in order to argue that the cultural moment for belief in consciousness-raising texts has now passed, critiques feminist criticism's continued dependence on this model of oppositional possibility.

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