Personal Politics, Still Small Voices, and Literary Criticism
If even the best of her work is not great in the long view... it remains the tangible strength of Zona Gale's certain, unwavering, still small voice.
—August Derleth, Still Small Voice: The Biography of Zona Gale
My longing for a still, small voice, for a spokesman not for the crash of breakers on the rock but for the currents, down under, that no eye could see, made me feel alone but not an alien.
—Josephine Herbst, “A Year of Disgrace”
I have argued that personal politics inspired writers Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst to declare that they never thought of doing anything else. The convictions of these four women emerged from a wide spectrum of political beliefs, some of which resonate with contemporary readers and some of which have become unfamiliar. I hope that this study might inspire others to investigate the impact of personal politics on the works I have not treated here: Gale's mystical novels and stories, Fisher's countless humanitarian essays, Lane's vast