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Aging and Gender in Literature

Studies in Creativity
Anne M. Wyatt-Brown and Janice Rossen, eds.

BUY Cloth · 375 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813914312 · $69.50 · Jul 1993
BUY Paper · 375 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813914343 · $26.50 · Jul 1993

By adding consideration of age to that of race, gender, and class, this innovative volume seeks to show how growing older affects literary creativity and psychological development and to examine how individual writing careers begin to change in middle age.


Aging is a missing trope in contemporary literary theory," the editors contend here: "Anglo-American literary criticism, like the society from which it springs, until recently has been uncritically ageist." These 17 essays, emphasizing "the intersection of gender with age," seek to show how aging affects literary creativity and examine how individual writing careers took off after middle age. The editors trace their theories with varying degrees of insight in the careers of Sarton, Bogen, Swift, Woolf, Bowen, Montherlant, Colette, and others. The essays generally find that writers, as one says of aging poets, "use their fears deliberately and creatively. Their works embody the fact that we all, as we age, tally our losses, remember what has passed, think of our personal histories, our families, our unfinished business.

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