Honest, vivid, and diverse, the essays collected in Women's Untold Stories reveal women's narratives that have largely gone unheard--stories of women of different ages, races, sexual orientations and ethnicities. These stories are outside the "master narrative," describing experiences that have been suppressed, ignored, or are somehow difficult to tell.
The stories reveal race, class and gender pressures with accounts of a Mexican maid's daughter and a tomboy who breaks gender norms as a "butch" straight woman. Experiences of motherhood and family life are covered with stories of home births, women of color's struggles with infertility, and a mother's side of an incest story. Narratives of women in public life are also included: a scientist's unconventional orientation to her work, a sweatshop worker's advocacy within the workplace, and Japanese-American women who were interned during World War II. And rare portrayals of women who demonstrate remarkable political efficacy appear in this book as well: life-long political activists, a white woman in the civil rights movement, and a Hmong refugee who is a community advocate.
Fascinating and often intense, these women's wide- ranging experiences, contextualized by the contributors, help readers to understand the importance of those women's lives that have been left at the margins of history and politics.
"These writers, each more talented than the next, come out of many closets, releasing a brilliant display of the power, tenacity, humor and exhaustion of women's lives. Writing explicitly and relentlessly at the borders of gender, race, class and sexuality, these essays are a must-read for old and young girls and women across the nation."
-Michelle Fine, Professor of Social/Personality Psychology, City University of New York Graduate School and University Center, and co-editor of "The Unknown City: Lives of Poor and Working-Class Young
"The editors are leading figures in their field...There is simply nothing like this--it will gain a lot of attention."
-Jean O'Barr, Duke University
"Women's stories are as much our way of speaking politically as any political tract and much more forceful. Rich and various, these women's narratives constitute a new dialogic genre in which the speaking of women's own experiences challenges, confronts and disrupts master narratives of race, gender, and class."
-Dorothy E. Smith, author of "Writing the Social: Critique, Theory and Investigations and "Texts, Facts, and Femininity: Exploring the Relations of Ruling (Routledge)
"[F]ascinating....This collection is a wonderful addition to feminist methodology...."
-Contemporary Sociology, September 2001
"For the editors of "Women's Untold Lives, telling personal stories is a means of uncovering and speaking against structures of power... The collection highlights the variety and complexity of the lives of women in the United States. Moreover, the stories forcefully demonstrate that prevailing views of social life cover up many aspects of women's experience. Making women visible altersour understanding of history, social life, and ourselves as social actors.."
-"SIGNS, Jeanne Marecek, Swarthmore College