Rewriting the Word: American Women Writers and the Bible

Synopsis

Women writers have often felt alienated from both the Bible and the canonical literary tradition that has been built on its foundation. Yet contemporary American women writers seem to be as haunted by the Bible as their nineteenth-century predecessors. This study of feminist biblical revision argues that women writers' contentious dialogues with the Bible ultimately reconstruct the writers' own basis of authority. The author traces the evolution of this phenomenon from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and analyzes biblical revision in works by Emily Dickinson, H.D., Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Gloria Naylor, and Toni Morrison.