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Expensive People

by Joyce Carol Oates Elaine Showalter

Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. In Expensive People, Oates takes a provocative and suspenseful look at the roiling secrets of America's affluent suburbs. Set in the late 1960s, this first-person confession is narrated by Richard Everett, a precocious and obese boy who sees himself as a minor character in the alarming drama unfolding around him. Fascinated by yet alienated from his attractive, self-absorbed parents and the privileged world they inhabit, Richard incisively analyzes his own mismanaged childhood, his pretentious private schooling, his "successful-executive" father, and his elusive mother. In an act of defiance and desperation, eleven-year-old Richard strikes out in a way that presages the violence of ever-younger Americans in the turbulent decades to come.A National Book Award finalist, Expensive People is a stunning combination of social satire and gothic horror. "You cannot put this novel away after you have opened it," said The Detroit News. "This is that kind of book-hypnotic, fascinating, and electrifying."Expensive People is the second novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A Garden of Earthly Delights, them, and Wonderland, are also available from the Modern Library.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Inventing Herself: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage

by Elaine Showalter

Sure to take its place alongside the literary landmarks of modern feminism, Elaine Showalter's brilliant, provocative work chronicles the roles of feminist intellectuals from the eighteenth century to the present. With sources as diverse as A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Scream 2, Inventing Herself is an expansive and timely exploration of women who possess a boundless determination to alter the world by boldly experiencing love, achievement, and fame on a grand scale. These women tried to work, travel, think, love, and even die in ways that were ahead of their time. In doing so, they forged an epic history that each generation of adventurous women has rediscovered. Focusing on paradigmatic figures ranging from Mary Wollstonecraft and Margaret Fuller to Germaine Greer and Susan Sontag, preeminent scholar Elaine Showalter uncovers common themes and patterns of these women's lives across the centuries and discovers the feminist intellectual tradition they embodied. The author brilliantly illuminates the contributions of Eleanor Marx, Zora Neale Hurston, Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret Mead, and many more. Showalter, a highly regarded critic known for her provocative and strongly held opinions, has here established a compelling new Who's Who of women's thought. Certain to spark controversy, the omission of such feminist perennials as Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Virginia Woolf will surprise and shock the conventional wisdom. This is not a history of perfect women, but rather of real women, whose mistakes and even tragedies are instructive and inspiring for women today who are still trying to invent themselves.

A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx

by Elaine Showalter

Fascinating, incisive, intelligent and never afraid of being controversial, Elaine Showalter introduces us to more than 250 writers. Here are the famous and expected names, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Willa Cather, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O'Connor, Gwendolyn Brooks, Grace Paley, Toni Morrison, and Jodi Picoult. And also many successful and acclaimed yet little-known writers, from the early American bestselling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell. A JURY OF HER PEERS is an irresistible invitation to discover great authors never before encountered and to return to familiar books with a deeper appreciation. It is a monumental work that enriches our understanding of American literary history and culture.

A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing

by Elaine Showalter

When first published in 1977, "A Literature of Their Own" quickly set the stage for the creative explosion of feminist literary studies that transformed the field in the 1980s. Launching a major new area for literary investigation, the book uncovered the long but neglected tradition of women writers in England. A classic of feminist criticism, its impact continues to be felt today. This revised and expanded edition contains a new introductory chapter surveying the book's reception and a new postscript chapter celebrating the legacy of feminism and feminist criticism in the efflorescence of contemporary British fiction by women.

The Vintage Book of American Women Writers

by Elaine Showalter

The Vintage Book of American Women Writers is the first of its kind: a dazzling, monumental showcase of 350 years of poetry and fiction by American women. Inspired and informed by her groundbreaking history A Jury of Her Peers, Elaine Showalter's landmark anthology features the best work of writers ranging from Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet to contemporary stars like Annie Proulx and Jhumpa Lahiri. For centuries women have been marginalized and overlooked in American literary history and Showalter's collection corrects this injustice, allowing us to see our famous women writers in their full literary context and to encounter scores of lesser-known and forgotten writers who fully deserve to be rediscovered and enjoyed by new generations of readers. Sure to fuel debate for years to come, The Vintage Book of American Women Writers offers an epic overview of the canon in one readable, entertaining, and provocative volume.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Wonderland

by Joyce Carol Oates Elaine Showalter

Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. Spanning from the Great Depression to the turbulent Vietnam War era, Wonderland is the epic account of Jesse Vogel, a boy who emerged from a family tragedy with his life spared but his world torn apart. Orphaned after watching his father murder his entire family, Jesse embarks on a personal odyssey that takes him from a Dickensian foster home to college and graduate school to the pinnacle of the medical profession. As an adult, Jesse must summon the strength to reach across the "generation gap" and rescue his endangered teenaged daughter, who has fallen into the drug-infused 1960s counterculture. Hailed by Library Journal as "the greatest of Oates's novels," Wonderland is the capstone of a magnificent literary excursion that plunges beneath the glossy surface of American life. Wonderland is the final novel in Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A Garden of Earthly Delights, Expensive People, and them, are also available from the Modern Library.JFrom the Trade Paperback edition.

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