Advancing Sisterhood?

Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Southern Fiction

Title Details

Trim size: 6.340in x 9.360in



Pub Date: 01/31/2001

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2249-0

List Price: $46.95

Advancing Sisterhood?

Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Southern Fiction

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Though black and white women have long been associated with the heart of southern culture, their relationships with each other in the context of contemporary southern fiction have been largely glossed over until now. In Advancing Sisterhood? Sharon Monteith offers an enlightening map of this new literary ground. Beginning with an overview of the theory and literary incarnations of friendship, Advancing Sisterhood? examines how prevalent specific relationships between black and white women have become in the works of Ellen Douglas, Kaye Gibbons, Connie Mae Fowler, Lane von Herzen, Ellen Gilchrist, Carol Dawson, and others. Monteith explains that interracial friendships have become an alluring topic for white women writers. She also examines these friendships in relation to the ways black women writers and critics have pictured black and white girls and women in the South.

Advancing Sisterhood? explores childhood female relationships in such works as Ellen Foster and Before Women Had Wings and considers recent ecocriticism and its role in charting the female southern landscape. Monteith also provides an in-depth examination of the archetypal friendship between white housewives and their black servants. Through these discussions, Advancing Sisterhood? demonstrates how contemporary white women writers have broadened their work to include friendships between women of diverse backgrounds and to influence literary expression.

Monteith's study reads across race-still the great barrier in America-to elegantly explore transgressing friendships between black and white women. Advancing Sisterhood? is first-rate scholarship.

—Diane Roberts

Advancing Sisterhood? provocatively brings together theories from several intersecting fields-southern studies, women's studies, cultural studies.

—Suzanne Jones, University of Richmond

Monteith's contemporary emphasis and her discussion of several books that have received scant treatment by other critics distinguish this volume. . . . Monteith says she selected novels 'for the different ways in which they structure cross-racial friendships, interactions, and misalliances, textually as well as thematically,' adding that 'the formal elements never exist in total isolation from wider sociopolitical determinations.' Strongly recommended for all academic libraries, upper-division undergraduate level and above.


About the Author/Editor

SHARON MONTEITH is professor of American Literature and Cultural History at Nottingham Trent University. She is the author of Advancing Sisterhood? Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Southern Fiction (Georgia), coeditor of South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture and Gender and the Civil Rights Movement , and editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South.