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Picture of Thy Truth Then Be Thy Dowry

Thy Truth Then Be Thy Dowry

Questions of Inheritance in American Women's Literature

Editor(s): Stéphanie Durrans
Contributors: Valérie Croisille, Brigitte Zaugg, Simon Dubois Boucheraud, Tanya Tromble, Stéphanie Durrans, Sarah Dufaure,

Book Description

This collection of essays provides new insights into the theme of inheritance in American women’s writing, ranging from Emily Dickinson’s appropriation of Shakespeare’s legacy to Meredith Sue Willis’s exploration of the tension between material inheritance and spiritual heritage in the Appalachian context. Using diverse critical and theoretical models, the twelve contributors examine women’s problematic relationship to inheritance in a variety of historical, geographical, and personal contexts, bringing to the fore a number of strategies of resistance and empowerment that have helped women cope with the burden or the lack of any inheritance through the centuries. Grouped into four sections, these essays successively investigate women’s attempts to grapple with the curse of personal or national inheritance, the troubled relationship with the father figure, the classic trope of the haunted, Gothic house, and the plight of more contemporary women writers who have been relegated to the dead zone of American literary inheritance. Of crucial importance for all of these writers is the tension between the home and the land, as well as a questioning of intertextuality as the starting-point for a reconfiguration of the self in its relationship with the past.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5605-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5605-3
Date of Publication: 01/04/2014
Pages / Size: 225 / A5
Price: £44.99


A Professor of American literature at the University Bordeaux Montaigne, France, Stéphanie Durrans specializes in women’s studies, intertextuality and transatlantic exchanges in the literary field. She is the author of The Influence of French Culture on Willa Cather: Intertextual References and Resonances (2007).