McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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The Words Of Women

There might be only one anthology of women’s writings that includes selections as wide-ranging as poetry, fiction, drama, trial transcripts, gallows confessionals, slave and captivity narratives, public speeches, recipes, articles on dress reform, advice literature, essays for and against slavery and women’s suffrage, stories of cross-dressing women pirates, and memoirs by female soldiers in early United States wars.

Date: 12/16/2004
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 513.556.1707
There might be only one anthology of women’s writings that includes selections as wide-ranging as poetry, fiction, drama, trial transcripts, gallows confessionals, slave and captivity
narratives, public speeches, recipes, articles on dress reform, advice literature, essays for and against slavery and women’s suffrage, stories of cross-dressing women pirates, and memoirs by female soldiers in early United States wars.

The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Volume I: Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries contains 1400 pages with all that and more. Co-general editor Lisa Maria Hogeland, associate professor of English and women’s studies, says the book represents five years of work by her and other editors including Deb Meem, professor of English and women’s studies, and Rhonda Pettit, a PhD graduate of the English department and assistant professor of English at Raymond Walters.

Hogeland notes that women first came into print in what would become the United States by having their works published without their permission or in narratives concerning heresy, witchcraft, and criminality. Women had a fully developed literary tradition by the nineteenth century; and Hogeland adds, “They wrote on all sides of every political issue We’ve included works on marriage and divorce, suffrage, temperance, abolition, the literature of westward expansion, Native American women’s autobiographies, California memoirs, and the story of a Chinese prostitute in San Francisco.”

Priscilla Wald of Duke University wrote of the anthology, “History lives in the stories we hear and those we tell. This anthology is more than a collection of literary works; it is a study in the access that literature gives us to the past and a commentary on the terms through which we endlessly construct it.”

Aunt Lute Books is an independent feminist press in San Francisco that specializes in publishing works by women of color. The anthology is available on Amazon.com or from the press at Auntlute.com. The cost is $45.

Hogeland is as enthusiastic about the 2006 publication of Volume II: The Twentieth Century as she is about the first volume. “My editors and I are committed to a vision of US. women’s writing in the twentieth century that is as rich and diverse, as wild and wide-ranging, as what we assembled in Volume I,” she says.

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