Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women, With a new Preface

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9780823271887: Scare Tactics: Supernatural Fiction by American Women, With a new Preface
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Scare Tactics identifies an important but overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women. Jeffrey Weinstock analyzes this tradition as an essentially feminist attempt to imagine alternatives to a world of limited possibilities. In the process, he recovers the lives and works of authors who were important during their lifetimes and in the development of the American literary tradition, but who are not recognized today for their contributions.

Between the end of the Civil War and roughly 1930, hundreds of uncanny tales were published by women in the periodical press and in books. These include stories by familiar figures such as Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as by authors almost wholly unknown to twenty-first-century readers, such as Josephine Dodge Bacon, Alice Brown, Emma Frances Dawson, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. Focusing on this tradition of female writing offers a corrective to the prevailing belief within American literary scholarship that the uncanny tale, exemplified by the literary productions of Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne, was displaced after the Civil War by literary realism.

Beyond the simple existence of an unacknowledged tradition of uncanny literature by women, Scare Tactics makes a strong case that this body of literature should be read as a specifically feminist literary tradition. Especially intriguing, Weinstock demonstrates, is that women authors repeatedly used Gothic conventions to express discontentment with circumscribed roles for women creating types of political intervention connected to the broader sphere of women's rights activism.

Paying attention to these overlooked authors helps us better understand not only the literary marketplace of their time, but also more familiar American Gothicists from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson to Stephen King.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock is Professor of English at Central Michigan University.

Review:

Scare Tactics provides a fascinating study of Gothic fiction published by women in the 19th and early 20th century. Weinstock makes a persuasive argument for the subversive nature of the works, showing how tropes of the supernatural provide a vehicle for expressing veiled and often heartbreaking accounts of patriarchal oppression. Weinstock has written an informative and insightful account of this important and overlooked literary phenomenon. (―Katherine A. Fowkes High Point University)

Weinstock's writing style is lively and accessible with the academic jargon kept to a minimum, so this book should be accessible to both scholars and those general readers willing to work a little at familiarizing themselves with the basic terminology of literary criticism. (―Green Man Review)

A very well written book. Its scholarship is excellent and it both fills a gap and leaves us asking more questions about what’s hidden, what’s coded, what’s secretly influential in women’s ghost stories of the era. (―Dissections)

This book examines some fascinating, little-known supernatural literature by women; in fact, there are discoveries here even for the experts. Weinstock's readings are lucid, insightful, and compelling. (―Lynette Carpenter Ohio Wesleyan University)

Scare Tactics takes us to unfamiliar and secreted terrain, and Prof. Weinstock is the keeper of the map. This book will introduce many readers to women Gothic writers with whom they are unacquainted. Perhaps even more important, Scare Tactics also illuminates the dark side of writers whose names are very well known, but typically not because of their contributions to the Gothic. (―Tony Magistrale University of Vermont)

Weinstock’s Scare Tactics is an important addition to the growing body of work in Gothic studies, giving full critical attention to the lost tradition of supernatural fiction by American women writers. While British authors in this field have found recent interpreters, their once popular American equivalents have been largely forgotten. In lucid detailing of such texts, and brilliant analyses of their hidden implications which often amount to a feminist critique of oppressive gender expectations, Weinstock brings the neglected ghosts of female American gothic back into sharp focus. (―Dr. Allan Lloyd-Smith)

Scare Tactics is that rare academic work that's accessible rather than purposefully opaque, and it has much to offer readers interested in American literature, gothic fiction, or uppity women. (―Bitch Magazine)

. . . Weinstock makes a cogent and compelling argument for the importance of these texts and demonstrates how women used the tropes of supernatural fiction to critique women's roles in Victorian and Edwardian American society. (―Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts)

[Weinstock] offers a convincing case that a tradition of female gothic writing from 1850 to 1930 merits study alongside a masculine tradition that begins with Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe and extends to H.P. Lovecraft. . . Recommended. (―Choice)

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Scare Tactics identifies an important but overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women. Jeffrey Weinstock analyzes this tradition as an essentially feminist attempt to imagine alternatives to a world of limited possibilities. In the process, he recovers the lives and works of authors who were important during their lifetimes and in the development of the American literary tradition, but who are not recognized today for their contributions. Between the end of the Civil War and roughly 1930, hundreds of uncanny tales were published by women in the periodical press and in books. These include stories by familiar figures such as Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as by authors almost wholly unknown to twenty-first-century readers, such as Josephine Dodge Bacon, Alice Brown, Emma Frances Dawson, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. Focusing on this tradition of female writing offers a corrective to the prevailing belief within American literary scholarship that the uncanny tale, exemplified by the literary productions of Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne, was displaced after the Civil War by literary realism. Beyond the simple existence of an unacknowledged tradition of uncanny literature by women, Scare Tactics makes a strong case that this body of literature should be read as a specifically feminist literary tradition. Especially intriguing, Weinstock demonstrates, is that women authors repeatedly used Gothic conventions to express discontentment with circumscribed roles for women creating types of political intervention connected to the broader sphere of women s rights activism. Paying attention to these overlooked authors helps us better understand not only the literary marketplace of their time, but also more familiar American Gothicists from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson to Stephen King. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780823271887

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Scare Tactics identifies an important but overlooked tradition of supernatural writing by American women. Jeffrey Weinstock analyzes this tradition as an essentially feminist attempt to imagine alternatives to a world of limited possibilities. In the process, he recovers the lives and works of authors who were important during their lifetimes and in the development of the American literary tradition, but who are not recognized today for their contributions. Between the end of the Civil War and roughly 1930, hundreds of uncanny tales were published by women in the periodical press and in books. These include stories by familiar figures such as Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as by authors almost wholly unknown to twenty-first-century readers, such as Josephine Dodge Bacon, Alice Brown, Emma Frances Dawson, and Harriet Prescott Spofford. Focusing on this tradition of female writing offers a corrective to the prevailing belief within American literary scholarship that the uncanny tale, exemplified by the literary productions of Irving, Poe, and Hawthorne, was displaced after the Civil War by literary realism. Beyond the simple existence of an unacknowledged tradition of uncanny literature by women, Scare Tactics makes a strong case that this body of literature should be read as a specifically feminist literary tradition. Especially intriguing, Weinstock demonstrates, is that women authors repeatedly used Gothic conventions to express discontentment with circumscribed roles for women creating types of political intervention connected to the broader sphere of women s rights activism. Paying attention to these overlooked authors helps us better understand not only the literary marketplace of their time, but also more familiar American Gothicists from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson to Stephen King. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780823271887

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