At the same time that 1970s feminist psychoanalytic theorists like Jean Baker Miller and Nancy Chodorow were challenging earlier models that assumed the masculine psyche as the norm for human development and mental/emotional health, writers such as Anne Sexton, Olga Broumass, and Angela Carter were embarked on their own revisionist project to breathe new life into fairy tales and classical myths based on traditional gender roles. Similarly, in the 1990s, second-wave feminist clinicians continued the work begun by Chodorow and Miller, while writers of fantasy that include Terry Windling, Tanith Lee, Terry Pratchett, and Catherynne M. Valente took their inspiration from revisionist authors of the 1970s. As Schanoes shows, these two decades were both particularly fruitful eras for artists and psychoanalytic theorists concerned with issues related to the development of women's sense of self. Putting aside the limitations of both strains of feminist psychoanalytic theory, their influence is undeniable. Schanoes's book posits a new model for understanding both feminist psychoanalytic theory and feminist retellings, one that emphasizes the interdependence of theory and art and challenges the notion that literary revision involves a masculinist struggle with the writer's artistic forbearers.
Veronica L. Schanoes is Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, USA. She works on fairy tales as well as children's literature.
'[Schanoes's] interrogation of fairy tale and myth as forms should prove useful to children's literature scholars working in fairy tale scholarship and adaptation theory, as well as in women's and gender studies. ... her investigations into revision and the relationship between feminism and fantasy certainly provide useful models for rethinking the ways works of literature and theory speak to and shape each other.' Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 'Schanoe's book is engaging and beautifully free of jargon ... Her acknowledgement and use of context and history makes the psychoanalytic argument more persuasive. Schanoes' readings are detailed and well developed ... She offers a very useful model for researchers in field.' Gramarye 'Schanoes's writing is consistently, engaging direct, so that topics that may already be known to readers ... are reasserted in their importance and their pivotal place in cultural histories ... With its participation in both long-standing and renewed feminist projects, this book will be a stimulating addition to any reading list.' Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 'Veronica Schanoes's work shines brightly for me - the product of insightful reflection, well-honed literary critical skills, a generous understanding of why imaginative literature matters, and remarkably incisive writing.' Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature