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Women Writers of the Beat Era

Autobiography and Intertextuality
Mary Paniccia Carden


BUY Cloth · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941219 · $75.00 · Apr 2018
BUY Paper · 248 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941226 · $29.50 · Apr 2018
BUY Ebook · 248 pp. · ISBN 9780813941233 · $75.00 · Apr 2018

The Beat Generation was a group of writers who rejected cultural standards, experimented with drugs, and celebrated sexual liberation. Starting in the 1950s with works such as Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, and William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, the Beat Generation defined an experimental zeitgeist that endures to today. Yet left out of this picture are the Beat women, who produced a large body of writing from the 1950s through the 1970s and beyond.

In Women Writers of the Beat Era, Mary Paniccia Carden gives voice to these female writers and demonstrates how their work redefines our understanding of "Beat." The first single-authored study on female writers of this generation, the book offers vital analysis of autobiographical works by Diane di Prima, ruth weiss, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger, and others, introducing the reader to new voices that interact with and reconfigure the better-known narratives of the male Beat writers. In doing so, Carden demonstrates the significant role women played in this influential and dynamic literary movement.

Reviews:


This groundbreaking study meticulously and intelligently uncovers the various creative strategies women of the Beat Generation have utilized in creating identities through autobiographical literature that have liberated them from cultural "pre-scriptions" imposed on them not only by the dominant culture but also from within the counterculture they played such a big part in creating. Just as the writings of these Beat women are palimpsests, so is Carden’s work a palimpsest on top of the scholarship by the Beat scholars that came before her.

Kurt Hemmer is Chair of the Cultural Arts Committee andProfessor of English at Harper College

In Women Writers of the Beat Era: Autobiography and Intertexuality, Mary Carden gifts her readers with a finely researched and beautifully crafted discussion of the complexities faced daily by women writers associated with the Beat Generation. Carden’s exploration of the ways in which they melded life writing with elements of Beat and other discourses presents a compelling argument for the often ambiguous and ambivalent prose that characterizes Beat women’s iconoclastic contributions to American literary and political history.

Nancy Grace, College of Wooster, author of Jack Kerouac and the Literary Imagination

About the Author: 

Mary Paniccia Carden, Chairperson and Professor of English at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, is the author of Sons and Daughters of Self-Made Men: Improvising Gender, Place, Nation in American Literature and coeditor of Doubled Plots: Romance and History.

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