Last Laughs : Perspectives on Women and Comedy book cover
1st Edition

Last Laughs
Perspectives on Women and Comedy

Edited By

Regina Barreca

ISBN 9781032226217
Published April 27, 2022 by Routledge
330 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1988, the 19 original essays (and three "Sylvia" cartoons) included in this volume deal with the gender-specific nature of comedy. This pioneering collection observes the creation of women’s comedy from a wide range of standpoints: political, sociological, psychoanalytical, linguistic, and historical. The writers explore the role of women’s comedy in familiar and unfamiliar territory, from Austen to Weldon, from Behn to Wasserstein. The questions they raise will lead to a redefinition of the genre itself.

Table of Contents

Part I  Sylvia Nicole Hollander  Introduction Regina Barreca  Who Was That Masked Woman? The Prostitute and the Playwright in the Comedies of Aphra Behn Catherine Gallagher  Life After Sex: The Fictional Autobiography of Delariver Manley Janet Todd  Jane Austen: Irony and Authority Rachel M. Brownstein  Austen’s Laughter Patricia Meyer Spacks  Deflation of Male Pretensions in Fanny Burney’s Cecelia Kay Rogers  Part II  Sylvia Nicole Hollander  Frances Miriam Whitcher: Social Satire in the Age of Gentility Linda A. Morris  Hate and Humor as Empathetic Whimsy in Anne Thackeray Ritchie Carol Hanbery MacKay  Between Women: A Cross-Class Analysis of Status and Anarchic Humor Regenia Gagnier  Slaying the Angel and the Patriarch: The Grinning Woolf Denise Marshall  (En)gendering Laughter: Woolf’s Orlando as Contraband in the Age of Joyce Judy Little  Truth-Telling: The Self and the Fictions of Humor Mary Ann Rorison Caws  Part III  Sylvia Nicole Hollander  Ironic Autobiography: From The Waterfall to The Handmaid’s Tale, Nancy Walker  Muriel Spark’s Unknowing Fiction John Glavin  Metaphor-into-Narrative: Being Very Careful with Words Regina Barreca  Uncommon Woman: An Interview with Wendy Wasserstein Esther Cohen  Feminist Humor: Rebellious and Self-Affirming Lisa Merrill  Daughters of Anger/Material Girls: Con/Textualizing Feminist Criticism Jane Marcus  Towards a Humorous View of the Universe Fay Weldon.  About the Contributors.  Index.

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Regina Barreca, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Literature at The University of Connecticut.