Women and Twentieth-Century American Fiction

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch71

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Women and Twentieth-Century American Fiction, in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch71

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • women and Twentieth-Century American fiction;
  • women, historically being denied opportunities - for a writing career, available only for men;
  • women writers, overcoming limitations - to a greater or lesser degree, helped by enlightened parents, a private income, patronage, commercial success;
  • Karen L. Kilcup's Nineteenth Century American Women Writers: An Anthology (1997) - selections from almost 70 authors;
  • Elaine Showalter's A Jury of her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx (2009);
  • best-selling American popular novels of the century - written by women;
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, more complex narratives and characterizations of women in American fiction - as early as 1911 in her The Man-Made World;
  • two writers, whose work remains more visible than that of Gilman and Chopin - being Edith Wharton and Willa Cather;
  • expatriate writing in Paris, in the 1920s and 1930s - the genre and language experiments of Gertrude Stein, and fiction of Djuna Barnes and Kay Boyle;
  • Pearl S. Buck in 1938, first American woman writer - to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, her fiction and non-fiction writing on China, where she had been raised by her missionary parents