The Feminist Utopian Novels of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Themes of Sexuality, Marriage, and Motherhood

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9780773449695: The Feminist Utopian Novels of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Themes of Sexuality, Marriage, and Motherhood

This title challenges Gilman critics who reject the author's sexual politics as no longer relevant to contemporary liberal ideals.Sexuality, marriage, and motherhood are not only three fundamental aspects of shared experience in the lives of women where patriarchal power and control have a decisive impact. They are the central concerns in the writings of the American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), not least in her Utopian novels - "Moving the Mountain" (1911), "Herland" (1915), "With Her in Ourland" (1916). Dismissed in its day, her work was later discovered by second-wave feminists in the women's liberation movements of the 1960s and the 1970s.This study of Gilman's Utopian novels argues that her understanding of the fundamental link between personal relationships - of women as lovers, wives, and mothers - and her broader political aims of transforming society, remains a radical starting point for present-day feminists. Gilman understood at an early stage the importance of the Utopian genre, both as a way of criticizing the existing order as well as providing an image of an alternative future that could inspire her readers to action.

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"... directs new and innovative critical attention to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's utopian novels." - Prof. Kirsten Shands Sodertorn University College "... places the unresolved tensions of Gilman's dramatizations of feminist dilemmas in a volatile dialogue with contemporary debates." - Prof. Bo G. Ekelund Stockholm University"

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