Breaking the Ties That Bind: Popular Stories of the New Woman, 1915-1930

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9780806124674: Breaking the Ties That Bind: Popular Stories of the New Woman, 1915-1930

The New Woman-an independent, nontraditional, usually career-minded woman for whom marriage and family were secondary-became a popular heroine in women’s magazine fiction from the time of World War I through the 1920s. During this period, American culture entertained a new, feminist vision of gender roles that helped pave the way for modern images of women in public activity. The stories in this collection are drawn from the biggest periodicals of the day-Ladies’ Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Home Companion, and McCall’s-as well as the African-American magazine The Crisis. Each story is rooted in some dimension of contemporary feminism and explores a topic of continuing importance, such as solidarity among women, the lives of women of color and working-class women, sexual harassment, lesbian love, family and marital bonds, and women’s relation to paid employment.

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From the Back Cover:

The New Woman - an independent, nontraditional, usually career-minded woman for whom marriage and family were secondary - became a popular heroine in women's magazine fiction from the time of World War I through the 1920s. During this period, American culture entertained a new, feminist vision of gender roles that seriously challenged the Victorian conception of separate spheres and helped pave the way for modern images of women in public activity. The extent to which popular culture contributed to this new concept of women's autonomy has not previously been recognized, but there can be no doubt that these stories helped define a pivotal historical moment. They are striking in their egalitarian portrayal of heroines on the cutting edge of modernism. The stories in this collection are drawn from the biggest periodicals of the day - Ladies' Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Home Companion, and McCall's - as well as the African-American magazine The Crisis. Each story presents a different expression of the New Woman: Susanne Brown, a journalist; Doria Dean Yale, a state politician; Amy Brooks, a surgeon; Eve Archer, a cafeteria worker; Mrs. Marian Burleigh, a wealthy widow who wants a job outside the home; Vandy Cameron, a pilot. Nine illustrations that accompanied the original publication of the stories depict the New Woman as she was envisioned in her day. The featured writers include Jessie Fauset, Zona Gale, Edith Barnard Delano, and Booth Tarkington. These stories are among our earliest American feminist writings, yet they remain relevant, compelling, even inspiring for readers today. Each story is rooted in some dimension of contemporary feminism and explorestopics of continuing importance: solidarity among women, the lives of women of color and working-class women, sexual harassment, lesbian love, family and marital bonds, women's relation to paid employment. Female self-discovery, independence, and achievement are affirmed throughout. With images of female empowerment and autonomy rare even now, modern readers will find in these New Woman stories not only a significant page of women's history but also an enduring heroine.

About the Author:

Maureen Honey is Professor of English and Women?s Studies at the University of Nebraska. She is the author of Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda During World War II and Shadowed Dreams: Women?s Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

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Published by Univ of Oklahoma Pr (1992)
ISBN 10: 0806124679 ISBN 13: 9780806124674
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Book Description Univ of Oklahoma Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0806124679

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Published by Univ of Oklahoma Pr (1992)
ISBN 10: 0806124679 ISBN 13: 9780806124674
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