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Inseparable: desire between women in literature

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New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Physical Desc:
x, 271 pages : ill. ; 25 cm.
809.933526 D687 2010
From a writer of astonishing versatility and erudition, the much-admired literary critic, novelist, short-story writer, and scholar (“Dazzling”—The Washington Post; “One of those rare writers who seems to be able to work on any register, any time, any atmosphere, and make it her own” —The Observer), a book that explores the little-known literary tradition of love between women in Western literature, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Agatha Christie, and many more.
Emma Donoghue brings to bear all her knowledge and grasp to examine how desire between women in English literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories. Donoghue looks at the work of those writers who have addressed the “unspeakable subject,” examining whether such desire between women is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heartwarming or ridiculous as she excavates a long-obscured tradition of (inseparable) friendship between women, one that is surprisingly central to our cultural history.
Donoghue writes about the half-dozen contrasting girl-girl plots that have been told and retold over the centuries, metamorphosing from generation to generation. What interests the author are the twists and turns of the plots themselves and how these stories have changed—or haven’t—over the centuries, rather than how they reflect their time and society.
Donoghue explores the writing of Sade, Diderot, Balzac, Thomas Hardy, H. Rider Haggard, Elizabeth Bowen, and others and the ways in which the woman who desires women has been cast as not quite human, as ghost or vampire.
She writes about the ever-present triangle, found in novels and plays from the last three centuries, in which a woman and man compete for the heroine’s love . . . about how—and why—same-sex attraction is surprisingly ubiquitous in crime fiction, from the work of Wilkie Collins and Dorothy L. Sayers to P. D. James.
Finally, Donoghue looks at the plotline that has dominated writings about desire between women since the late nineteenth century: how a woman’s life is turned upside down by the realization that she desires another woman, whether she comes to terms with this discovery privately, “comes out of the closet,” or is publicly “outed.”
She shows how this narrative pattern has remained popular and how it has taken many forms, in the works of George Moore, Radclyffe Hall, Patricia Highsmith, and Rita Mae Brown, from case-history-style stories and dramas, in and out of the courtroom, to schoolgirl love stories and rebellious picaresques.
A revelation of a centuries-old literary tradition—brilliant, amusing, and until now, deliberately overlooked.
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1st ed.
0307270947, 9780307270948


Includes bibliographical references and index.
Stonewall Book Medal, 2011.
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APA Citation (style guide)

Donoghue, E. (2010). Inseparable: desire between women in literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Donoghue, Emma, 1969-. 2010. Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Donoghue, Emma, 1969-, Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Donoghue, Emma. Inseparable: Desire between Women in Literature. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Last Sierra Extract TimeDec 05, 2023 07:12:54 AM
Last File Modification TimeDec 05, 2023 07:13:12 AM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeDec 06, 2023 02:03:33 AM

MARC Record

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300 |a x, 271 p. :|b ill. ;|c 25 cm.
504 |a Includes bibliographical references and index.
5050 |a Travesties : The female bridegroom ; The male Amazon -- Inseparables : Shall we be sunder'd? ; Jealousies -- Rivals : Rakes vs. ladies ; Feminists vs. husbands ; The beautiful house -- Monsters : Sex fiends ; Secret enemies ; Not quite human -- Detection : Now you see it ; Crimes of passion ; It takes one to know one -- Out : Case histories ; On trial ; First love ; Devil may care ; Places for us.
586 |a Stonewall Book Medal, 2011.
650 0|a English literature|x History and criticism.
650 0|a French literature|x History and criticism.
650 0|a Lesbianism in literature.
650 0|a Desire in literature.
650 0|a Women in literature.
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