Autobiography, as evidenced by best-seller lists, is one of the most popular literary genres. However, because critics have long dismissed it as subpar literature, little attention has been paid to autobiography, particularly accounts by women.
Women and Autobiography, edited by Martine Watson Brownley and Allison B. Kimmich, offers an insightful perspective on this often overlooked field. This text gives a compact, comprehensive overview of women's autobiography, providing historical back-ground and contemporary criticism along with selections from a range of autobiographies by women. Developed primarily for undergraduates, Women and Autobiography combines theory and practice by pairing autobiographical selections and criticism.
This book is a useful tool for courses in autobiography, literature by women, and women's studies.
This volume provides an invaluable introduction to the history of criticism on autobiography and gender, and an overview of the major critical debates in the field today. The editors have selected some of the most important articles on the autobiographical tradition, the theory of women's autobiography, the question of genre and sample texts from early and modern autobiography. Thsi volume will help to orient scholars who are either newly considering the field of lifewriting, or those teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on women's autobiography.--Martin Danahay, University of Texas-Arlington
Part 1 I Women's Lifewriting and the (Male) Autobiographical Tradition Chapter 2 The Female Self Engendered: Autobiographical Writing and Theories of Selfhood Chapter 3 Women's Autobiographical Writings: New Forms Chapter 4 Construing Truth in Lying Mouths: Truthtelling in Women's Autobiography Chapter 5 Feminine Authorship and Spiritual Authority in Victorian Women Writers' Autobiographies Chapter 6 Gender-Related Difference in the Slave Narratives of Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass Part 7 II Theorizing the Female Subject: Who Writes, How, and Why? Chapter 8 Reading for the Doubled Discourse of American Women's Autobiography Chapter 9 Woman as Other, Other as Author, Author as ... Man? The Authobiographical Dimension of The Second Sex Chapter 10 Beneath the Mask: Autobiographies of Japanese-American Women Part 11 III Rethinking Genre: Autobiography in Other Forms Chapter 12 Expanding the Boundaries of Criticism: The Diary as Female Autobiography Chapter 13 Autopathography: Women, Illness, and Lifewriting Part 14 Women's Autobiography from the Early Modern Period to the Present: Sample Texts Chapter 15 Seventeenth Century: From A True Relation of My Birth, Breeding, and Life Chapter 16 Eighteenth Century: From A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke Chapter 17 Nineteenth Century: From Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapter 18 Twentieth Century: From All o fa Piece: A Life with Multiple Sclerosis