Liberating Literature: Feminist Fiction in America

By Maria Lauret | Go to book overview
Save to active project

PREFACE

Books do change lives. This book is about the role of literature in social movements, about fiction that has designs upon its readers, about writing that changed the lives of individual women by giving them a sense of collectivity, of movement, and a vision of social change. Books like Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, Marge Piercy’s Small Changes and Alice Walker’s Meridian helped to bring about the profound social changes effected by the Women’s Movement. They also made sense of my personal and educational history in ways which could not have been anticipated by their creators, whose cultural context is so different from my own; Liberating Literature is then, in its turn, the result of reading books which changed my life and my mind.

Marge Piercy told me once that writing does not come solely out of other writing, it comes out of life, and I believe this to be true of academic writing as well as fiction. This book would not have been written were it not for my living as a woman and an émigrée in Britain, for my past and present of work in lowly and highly jobs, and for my efforts to try and understand my own experience through that of others—fictional and historical, political and personal. This dynamic relation between literature and life, in which each transforms the other, became the subject matter of Liberating Literature and inspired its argument regarding a feminist, counter-hegemonic aesthetic.

Personal motivations aside, however, the question arises whether the world needs another study of feminist fiction. It seemed to me, when I started researching eight years ago, that it did, because there were hardly any such studies and I still believe so, although there are now quite a few. Literary criticism does not take place in a vacuum, a space of pure reason or absolute judgement, but in a cultural-political environment where, at a certain time, certain problems need to be addressed in new ways. I was very aware, whilst writing this book, of the evanescence of such ‘newness’ in an intellectual culture which is also a marketplace. As new studies of feminist fiction were being published, I had continually to shift my perspective in order to benefit from and speak to the most recent scholarship on a (still very recent) body of fictional texts. Even so, I found that the new

-viii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Liberating Literature: Feminist Fiction in America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 242

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?