Feminism 3: The Third Generation in Fiction

Feminism 3: The Third Generation in Fiction

Feminism 3: The Third Generation in Fiction

Feminism 3: The Third Generation in Fiction

Synopsis

Feminism3 is a powerful multicultural collection of short stories by "third generation" Anglo, Latina, Asian, and Black feminists from all socioeconomic and religious heritages. This gathering of young authors covers most major issues in a young woman's life: awakening sexuality, biological and psychological landmarks, family rejection and rebellion, child abduction and abuse, gender identification, sexual harassment, and passionate romance. The broad-ranging and ever-changing theme of growing up female runs through this book like a multicolored thread. In this volume, one discovers the wonderful story "Selway" from Pam Houston's collection Cowboys Are My Weakness in which white-water rafting and love's mysteries rise to an overflowing crescendo; youthful innocence clashes with cynical experience in April Sinclair's excerpt from Coffee Will Make You Black; and Ann, Sarah Schulman's young female protagonist, looked down her body one fine morning to discover that in the night she had grown a penis! These are just a few of the predicaments in which the many women in this collection find themselves. The stories are rich, the writing is exquisite, and the diversity is wide. Feminism3 provides a lovingly deep look into the issues that face all young women in the process of growing up. By addressing in all its fullness the question "How does a young woman learn about the possible ways to be in this world?" it instructs in the natural evolution of feminism from its origins. It is a wonderful collection for general readers and scholars alike.

Excerpt

Sarah Schulman

For the most part, First Wave feminists could read and write, even though they did not have the vote. Our Second Wave foremothers benefited from a rich radical tradition of revolution--international and domestic, social, political, and internal. Most of us included in this collection are descended from slaves, peasants, illiterate or undereducated miners, factory workers, farmers, sharecroppers, as well as educated warriors from all social and economic classes. Our legacies reflect the native born, immigrants, and war refugees of all stripes. We are also descended from passive bypassers, collaborators, turncoats, and lackeys. We have survived a collapsing economy to still find time to write. We have managed to learn despite an ineffectual school system, lived to adulthood without national health care. Some of us have done this through will and luck, others through protection and support. But most amazingly, we still have enough hope to make art, even as the nation plummets into incalculable depths of reaction.

So given all this historical baggage, what do we ask of a mature feminist literature? How do we take our place in the literary life of the nation? This collection is an excellent place to investigate those questions because die work covers all the bases. There are writers who have been laboring at their craft for years, some in obscurity, others as flavor of the month. There are bright young bucks from the plains. There are familiar old favorites and startling new voices. Experimentalists, social realists, recorders, and inventors. Rural adventurers, upper-class suburbanites, prisoners of small towns, exiles in the rough. One necessary component is that our work is moving from the functional writing of documentation to the expressive power of writing as an art form. From simply telling the facts of your life to actually transforming them.

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