In this study, Russell explores the ways in which Willa Cather and Toni Morrison subvert the textual expectations of gendered geography and push against the boundaries of the official canon. As Russell demonstrates, the unique depictions Cather and Morrison create of the American landscape challenge existing assertions about American fiction. Specifically, Russell argues that looking at the intimate connections between space, gender, race, and identity as they play out in the fiction of Cather and Morrison refutes the myth of a unified American landscape and thus opens up the territory of American fiction.
Preface and Acknowledgments, Where Am I and How Did I Get Here?: The Connections between Space, Identity, and the Fiction of Willa Cather and Toni Morrison, Background Foregrounded: The Significance of Setting or “Don’t Skip the Descriptive Bits”, Maneuvering through the Maternal Landscape: Traditions, Tropes, and New Techniques, Home, Hearth, and Harpies: Discovering a Space of One’s Own in the Domestic Sphere, “This Way to the Egress:” Exiting Thoughts on the Cartography of Connection, Notes, Bibliography, Index