Soft Canons: American Women Writers and Masculine Tradition

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Product description

Dowling, David. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, Hudock, Amy E.

American Women Prose Writers, Huf, Linda. NY: Ungar, Kilcup, Karen L.

Soft Canons

Kimbel, Bobby E. American Short-Story Writers before Knight, Denise D. Westport, CT: Greenwood, Laffrado, Laura. Women's Writing. Columbus: Ohio State UP, Marchalonis, Shirley.

In this Book

Request an exam or desk copy. Skip to Description Reviews Awards. Karen Kilcup's Fallen Forests expands our sense of American literary en- gagement with the nonhuman world well beyond the established canon.. Kilcup identifies a more capacious tradition of 'environmental literature' whose primary project is not to foster ecological awareness but rather to work for environmental justice.


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In this wide-ranging, deeply insightful book, Kilcup both extends and challenges current thinking about American women's writings about the environment in the long nineteenth century. Adding to the field of rhetoric, or women's rhetoric, this book makes a valuable contribution to making 'audible' many now-forgotten women's voices. Rosenthal, Choice.

Soft Canons: American Women Writers and Masculine Tradition

Winner Outstanding Academic Title, Choice magazine. Making of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. The Southern Hospitality Myth. Borges's Poe.

University Press of Florida: Jewett and Her Contemporaries

Karen L. Kilcup rejects prior critical emphases on sentimentalism to show how women writers have drawn on their literary emotional intelligence to raise readers' consciousness about social and environmental issues. She also critiques ecocriticism's idealizing tendency, which has elided women's complicity in agendas that depart from today's environmental orthodoxies. Unlike previous ecocritical works, Fallen Forests includes marginalized texts by African American, Native American, Mexican American, working-class, and non-Protestant women.

Kilcup's career as a noted scholar of American women's writings is on full display in this book.

Analyzing the works of nineteenth-century women writers from diverse racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds, Kilcup illuminates these writers' complex, often conflicting interactions with the natural world. Beautifully written, meticulously researched, and brilliantly argued, Fallen Forests is a major contribution to ecocriticism and to the study of nineteenthcentury American women writers more broadly. Kilcup's impressive expertise animates this engaging, original analysis of how canonical and noncanonical American women writers' acts of environmental representation were profoundly shaped by class, as well as by gender and race.

A remarkably dexterous and insightful work of ecocritical scholarship. Unprecedented in its refusal to adhere to narrow understandings of environmental experience, Fallen Forests forges an ambitious reconsideration of environmental writing in the early United States.

Kilcup unearths a wide range of women's early engagement in issues central to environmental justice.