Opening Acts: Narrative Beginnings in Twentieth-Century Feminist Fiction - Frontiers of Narrative (Hardback)Catherine Romagnolo (author)
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In the beginning there was . . . the beginning. And with the beginning came the power to tell a story. Few book-length studies of narrative beginnings exist, and not one takes a feminist perspective. Opening Acts reveals the important role of beginnings as moments of discursive authority with power and agency that have been appropriated by writers from historically marginalized groups. Catherine Romagnolo argues for a critical awareness of how social identity plays a role in the strategic use and critical interpretation of narrative beginnings.
The twentieth-century U.S. women writers whom Romagnolo studies-Edith Wharton, H.D., Toni Morrison, Julia Alvarez, and Amy Tan-have seized the power to disrupt conventional structures of authority and undermine historical master narratives of marriage, motherhood, U.S. nationhood, race, and citizenship. Using six of their novels as points of entry, Romagnolo illuminates the ways in which beginnings are potentially subversive, thereby disrupting the reinscription of hierarchically gendered and racialized conceptions of authorship and agency.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 825 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
"The field of feminist narratology is growing, but none of these theory-driven books offers the kind of rich, in-depth study of one historical-geographical collocation of texts that Opening Acts does. Any teacher or student of literary theory, of the history of the novel, or of feminist and ethnic approaches to literature would find something of great interest in this book."-Margaret Homans, professor of English and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Yale University and author of Bearing the Word: Language and Female Experience in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing -- Margaret Homans
"The subject of narrative beginnings is important to literary criticism in several different fields: national literary traditions as well as comparative literature. . . . Romagnolo seeks to right the course of the early studies in this area by emphasizing feminist and ethnic-studies-inflected readings. Opening Acts contributes an overview of the existing literature, an assessment of what is lacking in that corpus, and an extrapolation of concepts to include often-neglected subjects in this field . . . expanding the established theoretical frame for narrative beginnings."-Carlos Riobo, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the City College of New York and author of Cuban Intersection of Literary and Urban Spaces -- Carlos Riobo