Feminist Utopias

Feminist Utopias

Feminist Utopias

Feminist Utopias

Synopsis

The utopias envisioned by Edward Bellamy and other novelists late in the nineteenth century were generally blueprints of government. As satellites of men, women were expected to share in the general improvement of society. The resurgence of the feminist movement since the late 1960s has produced a very different kind of utopian literature. Frances Bartkowski explores a body of work that is striking and vital because it reflects the hopes, fears, and desires of women who have glimpsed the possibilities of a bright new world freed from stifling patriarchal structures.

Feminist Utopias is a comparative study of the utopian fiction of nine women writers in the United States, France, and Canada. Except for Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915), the prototype for feminist literary utopias, all of the works were published between 1969 and 1986. Bartkowski discusses Monique Wittig's Les Guérillères, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, Suzy McKee Charnas's Motherlines, Christine Rochefort's Archaos, ou le jardin étincelant, E. M. Broner's A Weave of Women, Louky Bersianik's The Eugelionne, and two dystopian novels, Charnas's Walk to the End of the World and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

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