The Wicked Sisters: Women Poets, Literary History, and Discord

Paperback | August 1, 1993

byBetsy Erkkila

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This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves. Erkkila explores the troubled relationswomen writers experienced with both masculine and feminine literary cultures, arguing that popular feminist views often romanticize and maternalize women writers and their interrelations in ways that effectively reinforce the very gender stereotypes and polarities which initially grounded women'soppression. Studying the multiple race, class, ethnic, cultural, and other locations of women within a particular social field, Erkkila offers a revisionary model of women's literary history that challenges recent feminist theory and practice along with many of our fundamental assumptions about thewoman writer, women's writing, and women's literary history. In contrast to the tendency of earlier feminists to heroize literary foremothers and communities of women, Erkkila focuses on the historical struggles and conflicts that make up the history of women poets. Without discounting thehistorical power of sisterhood, she seeks to reclaim women's literary history as a site of contention, contingency, and ongoing struggle, rather than a separate space of untroubled and essentially cooperative accord among women. Encompassing the various historical significations of "wickedness" asdestructive, powerful, playful, witty, mischievous, and not righteous, The Wicked Sisters explores the power struggles and discord that mark both the history of women poets and the history of feminist criticism.

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From Our Editors

This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves.

From the Publisher

This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves. Erkkila explores the troubled relationswomen writers experienced with both masculine a...

Betsy Erkkila is at Northwestern University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.27 × 5.51 × 0.55 inPublished:August 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019507212X

ISBN - 13:9780195072129

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From Our Editors

This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves.

Editorial Reviews

"The Wicked Sisters is full of particular insights which make it illuminating reading....The Wicked Sisters are needed and valuable studies that offer varying and creative approaches to the enterprise of rewriting women's literary histories in ways which both transform and recuperate anAmerican cultural past."--Modern Philology