This book analyses twentieth-century writers who traffic in queer, non-normative, and/or fluid gender and sexual identities and subversive practices, revealing how gender and sexually variant women create, revise, redefine, and play with language, desires, roles, the body, and identity.
Through the model of the "switch" —someone who shifts between roles, desires, or ways of being in the realms of gender or sexual identity – Gender and Sexual Fluidity in 20th Century Women Writers: Switching Desire and Identity examines the intersecting locations of gender and sexual identity switching that six prolific, experimental authors and their narratives play with: Gertrude Stein, Jeanette Winterson, Kathy Acker, Eileen Myles, Anne Carson, and Anne Carson’s translations of Sappho. The theory and identities revealed create and give space to—by their playful, exploratory, and destabilizing nature—diverse openings and possibilities for a great expansion and freedom in gender, sexuality, desires, roles, practices, and identity.
This is a provocative and innovative intervention in gender and sexuality in modern literature and gives us a new vocabulary and conversation by which to expand women’s and gender studies, LGBTQ and sexuality studies, identity studies, literature, feminist theory, and queer theory.
Table of Contents
1 “Thinking sex”: presentation, representation, and manifestation; an unveiling; 2 Hidden spaces and the switch: Gertrude Stein does man-space and girl pink; 3 Theory must be doing: Jeanette Winterson, Eileen Myles, and Kathy Acker switch in the spaces and language of non-normative identities and desires; 4 Memoir, girl and teen-hood: the body, and deviancy in Kathy Acker, Anne Carson, and Sappho; 5 Concluding possibilities for switching: gender, sex, and identity freedom
Lesley C. Graydon, Ph.D., is an educator, writer, and therapist. She has taught at City College, Hunter College, Bronx Community College, and New York City College of Technology. She also leads workshops, groups, and has a private practice. She has the honour of being awarded the first Ph.D. interdisciplinary concentration in LGBTQ/ Sexuality Studies in the United States. Her alumnis include Simon Fraser University, City College, and The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York.