The Vintage Book of American Women Writers

Article number: SHOWALTER AWW
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From Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx, for centuries women have been marginalized and overlooked in American literary history. That injustice is corrected in this entertaining and provocative collection of 350 years of poetry and fiction by American women.

From Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet to Margaret Fuller to Harriet Beecher Stowe, readers will encounter scores of lesser-known and forgotten writers who fully deserve to be rediscovered and enjoyed by new generations. Our famous women writers, including contemporary stars like Annie Proux and Jhumpa Lahiri, are showcased in their full literary context, offering an epic overview of the canon in one monumental, dazzling volume.

This landmark anthology features the best work of our best American women, and was inspired and informed by the author's groundbreaking history celebrating women writers, A Jury of Her Peers

Vintage Press: 2011 | Paperback: 848 pages

About the Author

Elaine Showalter, a professor emerita at Princeton University, is the author of numerous books, including the groundbreaking A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing and A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie ProulxA frequent radio and TV commentator in the United Kingdom, she has chaired the Man Booker International Prize jury and judged the National Book Awards and the Orange Prize. She divides her time between Washington, D.C., and London.


"Showalter follows her invigorating literary history A Jury of Her Peers: Celebrating American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (2009) with an equally substantial and exciting anthology encompassing 350 years and 79 writers of diverse backgrounds, locations, and literary styles, each introduced with brief, vivid biographical sketches. As Showalter observes, women’s writing has been 'closely allied' with the quest for not only women’s rights but also universal human rights and justice, as well as literary exploration and excellence. Showalter’s chronological survey of 'the literary mothers of us all' takes measure of the great reach and splendid variety of women’s writing and how it has illuminated America’s continuing transformation and shaped American literature. Naturally, such pillars as Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Flannery O’Connor are present. But here, too, are versatile Lydia Maria Child, early African American writer Frances E. W. Harper, short story writer Constance Fenimore Woolson, courageous Kate Chopin, blacklisted Meridel Le Sueur, and on to Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, Amy Tan, and Jhumpa Lahiri. —Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Remarkable . . .A Jury of Her Peers does an enormous service, houses a drop-dead reading list, and gives the reader a fluid framework"  —Los Angeles Times

"Exhilarating, provocative, revelatory, magisterial... The celebrated get their due…and so do the forgotten."  —Slate

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