Women Writing Women: The Frontiers Reader

Women Writing Women: The Frontiers Reader

Women Writing Women: The Frontiers Reader

Women Writing Women: The Frontiers Reader

Excerpt

At the heart of Women Writing Women is the diversity of women's voices. This aptly reflects the basic feminist commitment to women speaking for themselves as they explore such gendered realms of experience as identity, family, sexuality, motherhood, politics, and religion. The selections in Women Writing Women employ various methods of autobiography, biography, sociology, ethnography, and history and so represent the endeavors of feminists working across the academic spectrum, yet each maintains its focus on the firsthand experiences of women. For more than twenty-five years, a commitment to multidisciplinary approaches and to breaking down boundaries between scholarly writing and the realities of women's diverse lives has remained a guiding principle for the editors of Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. This diversity of women's experiences cannot be overstated, and it is to this splendid and complex reality that this collection is selected and dedicated.

As we looked over the various types of essays that Frontiers has published in which women write about their lives and those of other women, the categories that emerged describe the distance of the author from the subject. The four sections of this volume thus comprise essays in which the authors write of their own lives ("Writing the Self"); essays in which the authors write about women well known to them, in this case about family members ("Writing Family"); essays in which the authors write about women with whom they have developed professional and/or personal relationships ("Writing Other Women"); and finally essays in which the authors know their subjects only through the diaries and letters these women left behind ("Writing Women at a Distance"). These categories, however, are not entirely distinct. For example, writing about oneself almost always involves writing about one's family in some way; likewise . . .

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