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Christina Stead /
Susan Sheridan.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1988.
xviii, 155 p. ; 23 cm. --
More Details
series title
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1988.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 145-151.
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Walter McRae Russell Award, AUS, 1989 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-07:
Christina Stead has rightly come to be recognized as one of the major modern writers of fiction, and her works have attracted increasingly diverse and sophisticated critics. She was adamant, however, that she was not a feminist (but rather, a socialist or a psychological) author; in fact, Susan Sheridan admits that Stead's great novel For Love Alone is "something of an embarrassment for feminist readings," and that reading her works as studies of the lives of modern women "throws into question some of the dominant strategies of feminist literary studies." In short, she acknowledges the fundamental weakness of her whole study: she selects only six of the 15 books for analysis, attempts to fit them into a predetermined form, and then (on reluctantly discovering that they seldom do), concludes that Stead is "the great ironist of female experience" whose novels "challenge directly the feminist critic's expectation of hearing the true voice of women's exeperience." Notwithstanding these fundamental flaws, Sheridan offers some challenging readings--especially of For Love Alone and The Man Who Loved Children, to which she devotes half of her study. And she is candid in acknowledging that Letty Fox and Miss Herbert offer protagonists with a "robust gift for social conformity and thus survival," women who, like Stead herself, rejected the myth of the necessary independence from men of the feminist heroine. Feminist and traditional critics will find the study provocative. For graduate libraries. -A. L. McLeod, Rider College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1989
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