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Reforming Fictions: Native, African, and Jewish American Women's Literature and Journalism in the Progressive Era [Hardcover]

Carol J. Batker

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Book Description

Nov. 29 2000 0231118503 978-0231118507

Recovering a lost chapter of literary and political history, this fresh, multicultural reading of the work of women writers of the Progressive era situates their fiction in the context of their reform journalism and political activism.

As Native, African, and Jewish American women gained access to education, developed women's clubs, and joined political organizations, they wrote to reform the nation, engaging themselves politically and creating a cross-cultural dialogue between journalism and fiction. Early in this century, writers such as Zitkala-Sa, Mourning Dove, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and Anzia Yezierska developed their writing careers through affiliations with reform organizations. They worked for Pan-Indianism, racial uplift, immigrant aid, or social welfare. Carol Batker explores the impact of their journalism and political work on their fiction. She demonstrates points of contact among these women that suggest mutual influence and conversations across racial and ethnic lines -- revealing important historical antecedents to contemporary debates about multiculturalism in America.

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"An important reeveluation of Native, African, and Jewish American women's writing during the decades of the Progressive Era." -- Carol Farley Kessler, "American Literature"

About the Author

Carol J. Batker publishes and teaches in Native American, African American, Jewish American, and women's studies.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revaluing and Recovering Multicultural Progressive Women Writers Sept. 25 2008
By B. Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Batker illuminates the lost importance of multicultural progressive era women writers efforts to contribute to reform in America. She recovers a lost chapter of literary and political reform history. She demonstrates how these reform journalists and activists crossed racial and ethnic lines, empowering their own and each other's lives as they developed their careers and worked for social reforms. She reveals important historical antecedents to today's debates about multiculturalism in America. Reforming fictions provides us with keen insights into the "personal is political" as contemporary women writers attempt to move forward in their careers and their communities.

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