Plain and Ugly Janes: The Rise of the Ugly Woman in Contemporary American Fiction by Charlotte M. WrightPlain and Ugly Janes: The Rise of the Ugly Woman in Contemporary American Fiction by Charlotte M. Wright

Plain and Ugly Janes: The Rise of the Ugly Woman in Contemporary American Fiction

byCharlotte M. Wright

Paperback | December 1, 2006

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“If beauty is truth, is ugliness falsehood and deception? If all art need concern itself with is beauty, what need have we to explore in our literature the nature and consequences of ugliness?” In Plain and Ugly Janes, Charlotte Wright defines and explores the ramifications of a new character type in twentieth-century American literature, the “ugly woman,” whose roots can be traced to the Old Maid/Spinster character of the nineteenth century. During the 1970s, stories began to appear in which the ugly woman is a figure of power—heroic not in the traditional old maid’s way of quiet, passive acceptance, but in a way more in keeping with the active, masculine definition of heroic behavior. Wright uses these stories to discuss the nature and definitions of ugliness and the effects of female ugliness on both male and female literary characters in the works of a range of American authors. Wright concludes that the ugly woman character allows American authors to explore the ironies and inequalities inherent in the beauty system.
Charlotte Wright is the managing editor at the University of Iowa Press. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Texas.
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Title:Plain and Ugly Janes: The Rise of the Ugly Woman in Contemporary American FictionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:152 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 inPublished:December 1, 2006Publisher:University Of Iowa PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0877459940

ISBN - 13:9780877459941

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"Blessedly void of volatile sexist language and defensiveness that has marred so much of feminist critical theory, this study provides a dimension to the interpretation of American literature that may well bring it to a closer relevancy to American culture. Wright has defined a significant American social totem here."---Clay Reynolds, University of Texas–Dallas