This collection brings together critical essays that examine questions of identity and community in the fiction of contemporary American women writers among them Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Sandra Cisnernos. The essays consider how identities and societies are dramatized in particular works of fiction, and how these works reflect cultural communities outside the fictional frame - often the communities in which their authors live and work. The essays included here concern fictional representations of African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Anglo and Euro-American communities and their working interactions in the multicultural United States. Each critic asks, in his or her own way, how a particular writer transforms her social grounding into language and literature.
The introduction includes an overview of the range of literary criticism devoted to contemporary American women writers, and an extensive bibliography of complementary critical readings is provided to encourage further study. Undergraduate and postgraduate students of contemporary literature will find the text an invaluable guide to contemporary women's writing in America, and the range of criticism that this has given rise to.
General Editors' Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction: 1. YVONNE YARBRO-BEJARANO, Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La frontera: Cultural Studies, `Difference', and the Non-Unitary Subject. 2. MARY O'CONNOR, Subject, Voice, and Women in Some Contemporary Black American Women's Writing
3. MALINI JOHAR SCHUELLER, Questioning Race and Gender Definitions: Dialogic Subversions in the Woman Warrior. 4. THOMAS FOSTER, History, Critical Theory, and Women's Social Practices: `Women's Time' and Housekeeping. 5. NORMA ALARCON, Making Familia from Scratch: Split Subjectives in the Work of Helena Maria Viramontes and Cherrie Moraga. 6. SIDNER LARSON, Native American Aesthetics: An Attitude of Relationship. 7. TONI FLORES, Claiming and Making Ethnicity, Gender, and the Common Sense in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. 8. DONNA PERRY, Initiation in Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John. 9. SUSAN KOSHY, The Geography of Female Subjectivity: Ethnicity, Gender, and Diaspora. 10. REBECCA FERGUSON, History, Memory and Language in Toni Morrison's Beloved. 11. NANCY J. PETERSON, History, Postmodernism, and Louise Erdrich's Tracks. 12. ROSE KAMEL, Literary Foremothers and Writers' Silences: Tillie Olsen's Autobiographical Fiction. 13. VICTORIA AARONS, A Perfect Marginality: Public and Private Telling in the Stories of Grace Paley. Selected Bibliography. Notes on Authors. Index