Women Coauthors

Women Coauthors

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Until recently, collaborative authorship has barely been considered by scholars; when it has, the focus has been on discovering who contributed what and who dominated whom in the relationship and in the writing. In "Women Coauthors", Holly Laird reads coauthored texts as the realization of new kinds of relationship. Through close scrutiny of literary collaborations in which women writers have played central roles, "Women Coauthors" shows how partnerships in writing - between two women or between a woman and a man - provide a paradigm of literary creativity that complicates traditional views of both author and text and makes us revise old habits of thinking about writing. Focusing on the social dynamics of literary production, including the conversations that precede and surround collaborative writing, "Women Coauthors" treats its coauthored texts as representations as well as acts of collaboration.Holly A. Laird discusses a wide array of partial and full coauthorships to reveal how these texts blur or remap often uncanny boundaries of self, status, race, reason, and culture. Among the many partnerships discussed are black-white collaborations, such as that of the Delany sisters and Amy Hill Hearth on "Having Our Say"; lesbian couples whose lives and writings were intertwined, including Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper ("Michael Field") and Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas; and the Native American wife-and-husband authors Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris. Framed in time by the feminist and abolitionist movements of the mid-nineteenth century and the ongoing social struggles surrounding gender, race, and sexuality in the late twentieth century, the partnerships and texts observed in "Women Coauthors" explore collaboration as a path toward equity, both socioliterary and erotic. For the authors here who collaborate most fully with each other, two are much better than one.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 163.1 x 237.2 x 29.7mm | 776.33g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252025474
  • 9780252025471

Review quote

"The models of literary creation that emerge through Laird's examination of women's literary partnerships ... challenge traditional understandings of the author as a stable, authentic origin... A much needed exploration of women's coauthorship." -- Choice "Providing an engaging corrective to such unilateral views of the multivalent phenomenon known as authorship ... [Laird] lucidly delineates a deromanticized group portrait of the multiple artists under her consideration... Laird's deft synthesis remains always specific in support, meticulously argued, and readable." -- Katharine Rodier, Modern Fiction Studies "A splendid study of a complex topic that offers more ... than the sum of its parts... Laird has offered a theory of collaboration that will change our understanding of authorship for good." -- George E. Haggerty, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature ADVANCE PRAISE "Lucid, elegantly written, impeccably researched, and extremely useful... Laird's book propels the reader forward, eager to find out what happens next. It sustained my interest from the first page to the last." -- Susan Leonardi, author of Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists "Brilliant... This original, imaginative, wide-ranging, and erudite study provides an entirely new way of mapping the territory of women's collaboration and offers a powerful set of critical paradigms for rethinking the question of women's coauthorship." -- Marianne DeKoven, author of Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernismshow more

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