Dangerous Desire is an important work that calls attention to how post-1960s literary representations of rape have shaped the ways in which both sexual and social freedoms are imagined in American culture. Exploring key post-sixties texts including Cleaver's Soul on Ice , Brownmiller's Against Our Will , French's The Women's Room , Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place , Walker's Meridian , and Dickey's Deliverance , Barnett finds that the widespread literary explorations of rape were almost always conjoined with one or more of the radical social movements of the sixties: civil rights, black nationalism, women's liberation and black feminism. Sexual violence emerges in these texts when the transformative possibilities articulated by sixties-era liberation movements trigger and intensify imbalances of power and cultural difference-for example, Eldridge Cleaver's claim that he lashed out against the white power structure by raping white women. This book should be of considerable interest to students and scholars of 20th century American literature, as well as American Studies and African American Studies scholars interested broadly in issues of sexuality, race, and violenc
Pamela E. Barnett is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina.