The University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography / Women's Studies / Critical Theory

Women, Autobiography, Theory
A Reader
Edited by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

"Well-conceived, astutely selected, unique in the field, and very much needed."
—Shirley Neuman, University of British Columbia

Women, Autobiography, Theory is the first comprehensive guide to the burgeoning field of women's autobiography, drawing into one volume the most significant theoretical discussions on women's life writing of the last two decades.

The authoritative introduction by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson surveys writing about women's lives from the women's movement of the late 1960s to the present. It also relates theoretical positions in women's autobiography studies to postmodern, poststructuralist, postcolonial, and feminist analyses.

The essays from thirty-nine prominent critics and writers include many considered classics in this field. They explore narratives across the centuries and from around the globe, including testimonies, diaries, memoirs, letters, trauma accounts, prison narratives, coming-out stories, coming-of-age stories, and spiritual autobiographies. A list of more than two hundred women's autobiographies and a comprehensive bibliography of critical scholarship in women's autobiography provide invaluable information for scholars, teachers, and readers.

Sidonie Smith is director of the Women's Studies Program and professor of English at the University of Michigan. Julia Watson is director of the Comparative Literature Program and associate professor of comparative studies at the Ohio State University. They previously coedited De/Colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender in Women's Autobiography and Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography.

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Cover of book is a reddish-pink color, with white text and a vertical pink line down the right side.

August 1998
LC: 97-039731 PS
544 pp. 7 x 9

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The cloth edition, ISBN 978-0-299-12870-8, is out of print.

"There is no other reader like this one on theories of women's autobiography, despite the now wide-ranging approaches to this field.... It has the merit of combining within the genre of autobiography criticism many of the critical issues that have been paramount during the past two decades, incorporating and going beyond what both feminism and cultural studies have attempted. Important and timely."
—Françoise Lionnet, Northwestern University

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