Narratives of Community draws together essays that examine short story sequences by women through the lenses of Sandra Zagarellas theoretical essay, aNarrative of Community.a Reading texts from countries around the world, the collectionas twenty-two contributors expand scholarship on the genre as they employ diverse theoretical models to consider how female identity is negotiated in community or the roles of women in domestic, social and literary community. Grouped into four sections based on these examinations, the essays demonstrate how Zagarellas theory can provide a point of reference for multiple approaches to womenas writing as they read the semiotic systems of community. While anarrative of communitya provides an organizing principle behind this collection, these essays offer critical approaches grounded in a wide variety of disciplines. Zagarell contributes the collectionas concluding essay, in which she provides a series of reflections on literary and cultural representations of community, on generic categorizations of community, and on regionalism and narrative of community as she returns to theoretical ground she first broke almost twenty years ago. Overall, these essays bring their contributors and readers into a community engaged with a narrative genre that inspires and affords a rich and growing tradition of scholarship. With Narratives of Community, editor Roxanne Harde offers a wealth of critical essays on a wide variety of women's linked series of short stories, essays that can be seen overall to explore the genre as a kind of meeting house of fictional form and meaning for an inclusive sororal community. The book itself joins a growing critical community of monographs and essay collections that have been critically documenting the rise of the modern genre of the story cycle to a place second only to the novel. But more than simply joining this critical venture, Narratives of Community makes a major contribution to studies in the short story, feminist theory, women's studies, and genre theory. Its introduction and essays should prove of enduring interest to scholars and critics in these fields, as well as continue highly useful in the undergraduate and graduate classrooms. a Gerald Lynch, Professor of English, University of Ottawa The introduction, by Prof. Harde, and the 20 essays in the book dialogue with Sandra Zagarellas proposed paradigm anarratives of communitya, which other scholars have called ashort story cyclesa or astory sequencesa. Zagarellas proposal organically blends a generic model with a thematic concern to explain how women writing community often turn to a particular narrative style that itself supports the literary creation of that community. Harde and the volume contributors appropriate this brilliant and engaging proposal in the context of other crucial discussions of the genreanotably Forest Ingramas germinal study, J. Gerald Kennedyas work, and those by Robert Luscher, Maggie Dunn and Anne Morris, James Nagel, Gerald Lynch and (Iam honored to note), my own study on Asian American short story cyclesato expand the range of the critical discussion on the form. The quality and diversity of the essays remind us that there is still much work that can be done in the area of genre studies. The volume emphasizes an important caveat to one vital misconception: that although writers like James Joyce or Sherwood Anderson are thought to be the precursors or, even, ainventorsa of the form, womenas sequences, by Sara Orne Jewett and Elizabeth Gaskell, among others, actually predate the work of the male writers. This fact suggests that the development of the form as a genre that attends to specific perspectives or creative formulations of and by women needs to be considered in depth. The temporal scope of the volume is therefore a vital contribution to scholarship on the form, as is the diversity of the writers analyzed. Indeed, the examination of narratives by writers from different countries and that focus on characters from different time periods, racial, religious, or ethnic communities, and social class impels a multilayered reading of the texts that inevitably promotes a nuanced understanding of the project of each of the writers, a project that connects issues of individuality and community in varied and often surprising ways. The essays thus critically explore the notion of community in its myriad associations with the individual and as a crucial site not only for womenas action upon the world but also for her creative endeavors. The essays in the volume revisit familiar textsaNayloras The Women of Brewster Place, Cisnerosas The House on Mango Street, Kingstonas The Woman Warrior, Weltyas The Golden Apples, Munroas The Lives of Girls and Women, among othersabut offer new perspectives on the way form interacts with issues of womenas communities and women creating community in these works. Significantly, it also offers readings on texts that have not been analyzed in detail from this perspectiveaGaskellas Cranford or Woolfas A Haunted House, for exampleathus contributing to a continuing conversation about the ways women write. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the new expand the paradigms of current criticism not only on the story cycle but also on womenas writing in general. aRocio Davis, Professor of Literature, University of Navarre qRoxanne Hardeas forthcoming volume, Narratives of Community: Womenas Short Story Sequences, provides an abundant collection of varied responses to Sandra Zagarellas longstanding call for further in-depth exploration of the genre that Zagarell christened athe narrative of communitya in her 1988 essay linking non-novelistic narrative form with representations of female experience. As Harde observes, such narratives of community overlap significantly with the growing canon of unified but discontinuous collections of autonomous stories that critics have variously labeled as the short story cycle/ sequence/ composite . . . The essays in her collection examine a rich variety of such works by women, extending the scholarship in this area. . . Hardeas ample collection of essays presents a concerted and diverse exploration of the implications of the short story sequence form as a representation of womenas lives as part of and in conflict with membership in a community. . . . Overall, Hardeas volume is a welcome addition to current scholarship on the short story sequence, bringing in a variety of new voices and perspectives to the community of scholars who have engaged in the exploration of this paradoxical, evolving, and increasingly popular genre.q a Dr. LuscherWhile Country did not come into my doctoral work, it gave me a lasting interest in the short story sequence, and inspired the first seminar I taught at Augustana, a course on womena#39;s short story sequences. Using Zagarella#39;s essay as a matrix ofanbsp;...
|Title||:||Narratives of Community|
|Publisher||:||Cambridge Scholars Publishing - 2009-03-26|