Catalogue


Writers of conviction : the personal politics of Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst /
Julia C. Ehrhardt.
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2004.
description
x, 209 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0826215068 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2004.
isbn
0826215068 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5289728
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 189-199) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Julia C. Ehrhardt is Assistant Professor of Honor (American Studies) and Women's Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-07-01:
Seeking to expand the canon beyond the oft-cited Gilman, Woolf, and Kate Chopin, Ehrhardt (Univ. of Oklahoma) considers women whose writing was specifically powered by "personal politics." Successful and celebrated in their time, these writers are today generally defined by specific aspects of their work (e.g., Herbst for proletarian fiction, Gale for Lulu Bett stories, Lane for support of her celebrated mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder). Highlighting aspects of their work that best reflect the personal nature of their politics, Ehrhardt looks at Gale's work on behalf of suffrage, the rights of African Americans, and small-town life; Herbst's commitment to reproductive choice after her sister died from an illegal abortion; Fisher's devotion to her home state, Vermont, and ideas about eugenics and immigration; and Lane's career as a world traveler who worked for the Red Cross in far-flung places. Ehrhardt does not shy away from the difficult or controversial aspects of her subjects' work. Though detailed overviews of each woman's oeuvre weary in places, the author paints an absorbing, unexpected, and welcome portrait of an era when a woman could support herself by publishing short stories in magazines ranging from Country Life to The Saturday Evening Post. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. C. M. Lombardi CUNY City College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2004
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
In Writers of Conviction, Julia C. Ehrhardt examines the literary careers of four American writers who have not received the critical attention they deserve: Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst. For too long, "middlebrow" female authors have been ignored by scholars--mainly because their stories were considered to lack serious political content or social commentary--despite their popularity with the general public. Writers of Conviction reintroduces these authors to reveal a fascinating and unexplored aspect of white, middle-class female authorship: the provocative links between each writer's personal politics and her literary aspirations. Ehrhardt uses this innovative critical perspective to show that each woman became a writer in order to express her political beliefs to the largest possible audience. Combining feminist literary theory, women's history, and biographical criticism, each chapter presents a compelling study of a woman's individual journey to political consciousness and the writings that resulted from it. Rather than discussing familiar issues--such as woman suffrage and equal rights--that usually dominate our understanding of women's political activity in the early twentieth century as they surfaced in writing by canonical woman authors, Ehrhardt introduces readers to four lesser-known women and the political agendas they endorsed in both published and unpublished writings. In-depth analyses are presented on Gale's support of the municipal-housekeeping movement, Fisher's anxieties about the rise of New England tourism, Lane's criticism of the New Deal, and Herbst's denunciation of the risks involved in illegal abortion. Ehrhardtoffers a refreshing new perspective on Herbst's fiction by putting sexuality rather than class at the center of the analysis. Writers of Conviction breaks new ground by also assessing the current critical conception of legitima
Main Description
In Writers of Conviction, Julia C. Ehrhardt examines the literary careers of four American writers who have not received the critical attention they deserve: Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst. For too long, popular twentieth-century female authors have been ignored by scholars-mainly because their stories were considered to lack serious political content or social commentary-despite their popularity with the general public. Writers of Convictionreintroduces these authors to reveal a fascinating and unexplored aspect of white, middle-class, female authorship: the provocative links between each writer's personal politics and her literary aspirations. Ehrhardt uses this innovative critical perspective to show that each woman became a writer in order to express her political beliefs to the largest possible audience. Combining feminist literary theory, women's history, and biographical criticism, each chapter presents a compelling study of a woman's individual journey to political consciousness and the writings that resulted from it. Rather than discussing familiar issues-such as woman suffrage and equal rights-that usually dominate our understanding of women's political activity in the early twentieth century as it surfaced in writings by canonical woman authors, Ehrhardt introduces readers to four lesser-known women and the political agendas they endorsed in both published and unpublished writings. In-depth analyses are presented on Gale's support of the municipal-housekeeping movement, Fisher's anxieties about the rise of New England tourism, Lane's criticisms of the New Deal, and Herbst's denunciation of the risks involved in illegal abortion. Ehrhardt offers a refreshing new perspective on Herbst's fiction by putting sexuality rather than class at the center of the analysis. Writers of Convictionbreaks new ground byalso assessing the current critical conception of legitimate political agendas. By highlighting not only the content of their writings but also the immense popularity these women enjoyed, Ehrhardt demonstrates that an investigation of personal politics forces critics to reconsider assumptions about literary movements and provides a provocative model for twenty-first-century feminist literary criticism.
Main Description
InWriters of Conviction, Julia C. Ehrhardt examines the literary careers of four American writers who have not received the critical attention they deserve: Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst. For too long, popular twentieth-century female authors have been ignored by scholars-mainly because their stories were considered to lack serious political content or social commentary-despite their popularity with the general public. Writers of Convictionreintroduces these authors to reveal a fascinating and unexplored aspect of white, middle-class, female authorship: the provocative links between each writer's personal politics and her literary aspirations. Ehrhardt uses this innovative critical perspective to show that each woman became a writer in order to express her political beliefs to the largest possible audience. Combining feminist literary theory, women's history, and biographical criticism, each chapter presents a compelling study of a woman's individual journey to political consciousness and the writings that resulted from it. Rather than discussing familiar issues-such as woman suffrage and equal rights-that usually dominate our understanding of women's political activity in the early twentieth century as it surfaced in writings by canonical woman authors, Ehrhardt introduces readers to four lesser-known women and the political agendas they endorsed in both published and unpublished writings. In-depth analyses are presented on Gale's support of the municipal-housekeeping movement, Fisher's anxieties about the rise of New England tourism, Lane's criticisms of the New Deal, and Herbst's denunciation of the risks involved in illegal abortion. Ehrhardt offers a refreshing new perspective on Herbst's fiction by putting sexuality rather than class at the center of the analysis. Writers of Convictionbreaks new ground byalso assessing the current critical conception of legitimate political agendas. By highlighting not only the content of their writings but also the immense popularity these women enjoyed, Ehrhardt demonstrates that an investigation of personal politics forces critics to reconsider assumptions about literary movements and provides a provocative model for twenty-first-century feminist literary criticism.
Main Description
In Writers of Conviction, Julia C. Ehrhardt examines the literary careers of four American writers who have not received the critical attention they deserve: Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst. For too long, popular twentieth-century female authors have been ignored by scholars-mainly because their stories were considered to lack serious political content or social commentary-despite their popularity with the general public. Writers of Convictionreintroduces these authors to reveal a fascinating and unexplored aspect of white, middle-class, female authorship: the provocative links between each writer’s personal politics and her literary aspirations. Ehrhardt uses this innovative critical perspective to show that each woman became a writer in order to express her political beliefs to the largest possible audience. Combining feminist literary theory, women’s history, and biographical criticism, each chapter presents a compelling study of a woman’s individual journey to political consciousness and the writings that resulted from it. Rather than discussing familiar issues-such as woman suffrage and equal rights-that usually dominate our understanding of women’s political activity in the early twentieth century as it surfaced in writings by canonical woman authors, Ehrhardt introduces readers to four lesser-known women and the political agendas they endorsed in both published and unpublished writings. In-depth analyses are presented on Gale’s support of the municipal-housekeeping movement, Fisher’s anxieties about the rise of New England tourism, Lane’s criticisms of the New Deal, and Herbst’s denunciation of the risks involved in illegal abortion. Ehrhardt offers a refreshing new perspective on Herbst’s fiction by putting sexuality rather than class at the center of the analysis. Writers of Convictionbreaks new ground byalso assessing the current critical conception of legitimate political agendas. By highlighting not only the content of their writings but also the immense popularity these women enjoyed, Ehrhardt demonstrates that an investigation of personal politics forces critics to reconsider assumptions about literary movements and provides a provocative model for twenty-first-century feminist literary criticism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Women Writers, Personal Politics, and Literary Professionalismp. 1
"What the Day's Work Means to Me": Zona Gale's Municipal Housekeepers and the Revolt from Friendship Villagep. 17
Tourists Accommodated, with Reservations: Vermont Tourism, Eugenics, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher's No-Vacancy Signsp. 53
"Stand Entirely on My Own Feet": Rose Wilder Lane's Literary Declarations of Independencep. 93
Sisterhood Is Powerful: The Unhappy Marriage of Women's Writing and Women's Sexuality in Josephine Herbst's Fictionp. 140
Personal Politics, Still Small Voices, and Literary Criticismp. 180
Bibliographyp. 189
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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