Third World Women's Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English

Third World Women's Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English

Third World Women's Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English

Third World Women's Literatures: A Dictionary and Guide to Materials in English

Synopsis

A reference companion to Third World women writers and their writing available in English.

Excerpt

This book is a companion for readers, librarians, teachers, and students who have an interest in third world women's literatures or who are seeking information unavailable in other literary companions. It includes brief descriptive entries on writers, works, and topics as well as bibliographic leads to works and criticism in English or English translation.

I started work on this book when a teacher complained that he was having trouble finding literature by third world women to include in a course reading list. Since that conversation, a great deal has been published, including literary works, criticism, and excellent reference books such as the Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature that have provided far more information than was heretofore available on women writers from the third world. However, there has been no other reference work published to date that focuses exclusively on third world women's literatures and that provides extensive bibliographies of works and criticism, a need this book addresses.

The terms used in the title--third world, women's literatures, and even the category literature--are problematic and require some explanation. the term third world is not only anachronistic since the withering away of the second world, but is also a phrase some find offensive. Nevertheless, I find it preferable to terms such as developing countries, the subject heading used by the Library of Congress. in the past ten years, postcolonial has been in frequent use, but I agree with Ama Ata Aidoo that the prefix is unduly optimistic: "[T]he term 'postcolonial' makes me uncomfortable. Post what? . . . because it has not gone yet" (George, 308). Terminology aside, the third world is not a place with defined boundaries but is, in Sara Suleri's phrase, "locatable only as a discourse . . .

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