he University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography / Women's Studies / History / American Studies


Diaries of Girls and Women
A Midwestern American Sampler
Edited by Suzanne L. Bunkers

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

Diaries of schoolgirls, newlywed wives, mothers, teachers, nurses, elderly women, nuns, travelers.

Diaries of Girls and Women captures and preserves the diverse lives of forty-seven girls and women who lived in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin between 1837 and 1999. A compelling work of living history, it brings together both diaries from historical society archives and diaries still in possession of the diarists or their descendents.

Editor Suzanne L. Bunkers has selected these excerpts from more than 450 diaries she examined. Some diaries were kept only briefly, others through an entire lifetime; some diaries are the intensely private record of a life, others tell the story of an entire family and were meant to be saved and appreciated by future generations. By approaching diaries as historical documents, therapeutic tools, and a form of literature, Bunkers offers readers insight into the self-images of girls and women, the dynamics of families and communities, and the kinds of contributions that girls and women have made, past and present.

As a representation of the girls and women of varied historical eras, locales, races, and economic circumstances who settled and populated the Midwest, Diaries of Girls and Women adds texture and pattern to the fabric of American history.

"No one is more qualified to undertake such a project; Suzanne Bunkers's extensive work with unpublished manuscript diaries and her work in diary/autobiography theory combine here to produce a volume of interest to scholars and general readers alike. This book will fill an important niche in the literature of American women's diaries."—Margo Culley, author of American Women's Autobiography and A Day at a Time: Diary Literature of American Women

Suzanne L. Bunkers is professor of English and director of the honors program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the editor of The Diary of Caroline Seabury: 1854–1863, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. She is the author of In Search of Susanna; the editor of All Will Yet Be Well: The Diary of Sarah Gillespie: 1873–1952; and co-editor of Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women's Diaries.

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the cover of Bunkers book is a collage of photos of women, from various time periods. All are purple toned.

July 2001
472 pp.  7 x 9
34 b/w photos

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Paper $34.95 x
Cloth $60.00 s
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