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Maverick Autobiographies
Women Writers and the American West, 1900–1936
Cathryn Halverson


Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography

"[My autobiography] is shining little gold coins. . . . It is my little old life-tragedy. It means everything to me."
—Mary MacLane

In contrast to the traditional frontiers and pioneers focus of western studies, Maverick Autobiographies looks at women writers who came not to but from the West. Cathryn Halverson offers an alternative history of American women's autobiography and a new view of western women's literature. Mary MacLane, Opal Whiteley, and Juanita Harrison, she argues, rewrote frontier myths to make a space for themselves as female iconoclasts from the West. Creating an ardent readership for western women's "naked" desires, they became best-selling celebrity authors. After their intense early fame, though, they virtually disappeared. Halverson examines why, and brings their texts back to light through a richly textured weaving of biography, literary analysis, and cultural history—in the process, urging us to reformulate our notions of what it means to be a "western writer."

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

Cathryn Halverson is associate professor of English at Kobe City College of Foreign Studies, Japan.

 





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May 2004
LC: 2003020567 PS
240 pp. 6 x 9

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Cloth $45.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19720-9
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