Rereading Women

Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions
Rereading Women: Thirty Years of Exploring Our Literary Traditions. Norton. May 2011. c.400p. bibliog. ISBN 9780393067644. $29.95. LIT
In this collection of essays, some new, but most previously published, noted feminist literary scholar Gilbert (English, emerita, Univ. of California, Davis; coauthor, with Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic) examines women writers within the context of their own experiences and 20th-century feminist studies. The volume is divided into three parts: "Finding Atlantis—and Growing into Feminism," "Reading and Rereading Women's Writing," and "Mother Rites: Maternity, Matriarchy, Creativity." Gilbert opens with an account of the early stages of her career, revealing how she built a successful professional collaboration with Gubar. Later essays focus on specific writers such as Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Charlotte Brontë. Gilbert's expansive discussion demonstrates her mastery of her field. Readers will encounter the passionate and astute voice of a scholar who has clearly embraced her calling.
VERDICT Gilbert's contributions to women's studies and feminist literary criticism are considerable, making this a highly recommended collection not just for specialists and students but for everyone interested in feminism within a literary context.
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