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Women without Men
Female Bonding and the American Novels of the 1980s

Donald J. Greiner


This provacative new study evaluates the fiction of ten contemporary female novelists to ask questions about gender relations in American fiction. Looking closely at the reaction of female writers to a central paradigm of American literature—male bonding in the wilderness—Donald Greiner contends that female novelists have not only adopted the venerable model but also adapted it so that women are venturing into the wilderness while excluding men from their quest.

Donald J. Greiner is Carolina Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. The recipient of numerous awards for outstanding teaching and author of more than eight books, Greiner characterizes his latest as a sequel to an earlier work, Women Enter the Wilderness: Male Bonding and the American Novel of the 1980s

"Greiner strides in where even Iron John might fear to tread.... An illuminating tour through some of the most interesting and innovative fiction of the 1980s."—William H. Shurr, Professor of English, University of Tennessee

"Makes the wonderful assumption that one can gain insight by crossing some boundary lines that other critics think are sketched in stone: men can write about women novelists and feminist critics; anthropological and sociobiological arguments about aggression and bonding can be brought to bear on literature; contemporary writers can be illuminated by traditions of earlier American writers.... A reader's whole sense of boundaries is called into question. To some extent, that will trouble at least some feminists more than anything—but it's a great achievement."—Susan Strehle, Professor of English, State University of New York, Binghamton



book jacket for Women without Men


6 x 9
136 pages
ISBN 978-0-87249-884-6
cloth, $34.95s

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