A new collection of essays on literature and sexuality by one of the wittiest and most iconoclastic critics writing today.
Terry Castle has taught at Stanford since 1983. She has written five books ranging from Masquerade and Civilization: The Carnivalesque in Eighteenth Century English Culture and Fiction to The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture. She has won several awards and was nominated for the PEN Spielvogel-Diamodstean Award for the Art of the Essay.
"Castle's immersion in great 18th and 19th century writers such as Samuel Richardsom, Austen and the Brontes has clearly sharpened her own critical faculties and contributed more than a little to her engaging style and elan...a scintillating collection of essays." -- Los Angeles Times
"Castle distinguishes herself with her even-keeled approach...[she] is no pushover when it comes to taking authors to task; she wields a formidable pen indeed. But it's clear that she criticizes because she cares--she wants female writers and artists and critics to be taken seriously. One of the biggest delights in this collection is Castle's keen sense of style, no small feat for a writer working in the academic world. In stark contrast to the wordier-than-thou poststructuralist approaches that seem to dominate her field, Castle's style is gleeful, fair, and erudite without being mired in plodding academic prose. She's more interested in engaging a text than she is in posturing. Cheers to Terry Castle for making literary criticism fun again." -- Bitch
"Castle, a Stanford professor and the author of five books, tackles the Boss Lady problem with great insight and no lack of humor. These essays. many of which originally appeared in the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement, reveal Castle to be a master of the review-article genre. They provide lucid, rigorous assessments of the authors' successes and failures, but also illuminating descriptions of their subjects' lives." -- Bitch
"Is anyone as smart as Terry Castle? I sincerely doubt it! Boss Ladies will appeal to the intellectuals among us who are looking for a bit of brain stimulation." -- Rachel Pepper, Curve
"The truth is outrageous: that's a principle Terry Castle has proved. She is as sound as she is scandalous. Any educated person can read her essays with profit and pleasure--and with a jaw that is permanently dropped." -- Edmund White
"Brave, learned, sassy, wildly funny, Terry Castle knows heaps about people (and lives) as well as about literature in English. Her writing is full of feeling and wisdom. She's not only our best Female Literary Critic and One Wise Babe. She's the most expressive, most enlightening literary critic at large today." -- Susan Sontag