Perhaps a more useful approach is to ask whether we can trace within women’s writing what Denise Riley called, in 1992, in an essay of that name, “A Short History of Some Preoccupations”. Does the work reflect not simply current realities, but complex questions about women’s identities and roles? And do such reflections as occur fall into patterns that suggest either societal shifts, or the movement of literary generations and traditions, or both? Attempting to answer such questions with anything short of the entire library seems reductive. But if the centenary of suffrage helps us to view women’s writing not simply as an adjunct to men’s, nor as a set of spontaneous occurrences, but as a hundred years of women writers listening to each other, and paying attention to their own situation as emergent citizens, that’s surely to be celebrated.
Saturday, June 09, 2018
… Far from alone | 100 years of fiction by enfranchised women. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)