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From the Margins of Empire: Christina Stead, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer - Reading Women Writing (Paperback)Louise Yelin (author)
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Situated at the intersection of the colonial and the postcolonial, the modern and the postmodern, the novelists Christina Stead, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer all bear witness to this century's global transformations. From the Margins of Empire looks at how the question of national identity is constructed in their writings. These authors-white women who were born or grew up in British colonies or former colonies-reflect the subject of national identity in vastly different ways in both their lives and their work. Stead, who resided outside of her native Australia, has an unsettled identity. Lessing, who grew up in southern Rhodesia and migrated to England, is or has become English. Gordimer, who was born in South Africa and remains there, considers herself South African. Louise Yelin shows how the three writers' different national identities are inscribed in their fiction. The invented, hybrid character of nationality is, she maintains, a constant throughout. Locating the writings of Stead, Lessing, and Gordimer in the national cultures that produced and read them, she considers the questions they raise about the roles that whites, especially white women, can play in the new political and cultural order.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 312 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
"A complex account of the relationship between issues of gender, national identity, and political affiliation."-- Stephen Cowden * Yearbook of English Studies *
"From the Margins of Empire is a book that should be read. Yelin maintains a difficult balance between criticism and praise for these three authors who are so interesting, and yet so problematic, in ways that must not be ignored."-- Cassandra Heliczer * American Book Review *
"The paradox of women without economic or political clout becoming symbols of a powerful system is familiar to feminists. But in bringing together Christina Stead, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer in an important new Study, Louise Yelin helps us imagine how the colonies looked to bright young women of European descent."-- Margaret Scanlan * Modern Fiction Studies *
"Yelin's study presents the novels provocatively, insightfully, and with a perfectly balanced appreciation of text and context.... Her uncovering.... testifies to the imaginative power of writers with a will to write a different story."-- Betsy Draine * Contemporary Literature *
"Yelin's superbly clear organization of this material is crucial to the book's success; while each chapter's detailed readings of novels... are all capable of standing alone, they also develop thematically and chronologically.... What further unites Yelin's discussion is her highly intelligent analysis of gender and genre in affirming a national identity or writing the nation."-- Simon Lewis * Research in African Literatures *
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