Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender

Title Details

Pages: 288

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 11/15/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5401-9

List Price: $39.95


Pub Date: 11/15/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5400-2

List Price: $99.95

Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender

A fresh look at Pynchon through the shifting lenses of gender studies

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Thomas Pynchon’s fiction has been considered masculinist, misogynist, phallocentric, and pornographic: its formal experimentation, irony, and ambiguity have been taken both to complicate such judgments and to be parts of the problem. To the present day, deep critical divisions persist as to whether Pynchon’s representations of women are sexist, feminist, or reflective of a more general misanthropy, whether his writing of sex is boorishly pornographic or effectually transgressive, whether queer identities are celebrated or mocked, and whether his departures from realist convention express masculinist elitism or critique the gendering of genre.

Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender reframes these debates. As the first book-length investigation of Pynchon’s writing to put the topics of sex and gender at its core, it moves beyond binary debates about whether to see Pynchon as liberatory or conservative, instead examining how his preoccupation with sex and gender conditions his fiction’s whole worldview. The essays it contains, which cumulatively address all of Pynchon’s novels from V. (1963) to Bleeding Edge (2013), investigate such topics as the imbrication of gender and power, sexual abuse and the writing of sex, the gendering of violence, and the shifting representation of the family. Providing a wealth of new approaches to the centrality of sex and gender in Pynchon’s work, the collection opens up new avenues for Pynchon studies as a whole.

Rarely does one read through an entire collection of essays, let alone find them all gripping. This collection is that and more.

—Kathryn Hume, ALH Online Review

Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender delivers on the promise to examine this gaping hole in Pynchon studies [and] offers an exhaustive answer to the representation of sex and gender in Pynchon’s fiction… The wide-ranging foray into academic discourses and cultural contexts never loses sight of the text… creating new inroads into Pynchon’s work.

—Bastien Meresse, Orbit: A Journal of American Literature

Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender . . . establish[es] that sex and gender are both crucial elements of his literary undertaking and inseparable from its ethical and political repercussions. . . . The overall scope of the collection is impressive, encompassing Pynchon’s oeuvre in its entirety while detailing the significance of the ways in which he handles such topics as child abuse, family values, motherhood, and sex work.

—Bill Solomon, American Literary Scholarship

Jennifer Backman

Simon Cook

Inger H. Dalsgaard

Simon de Bourcier

Catherine Flay

Marie Franco

Doug Haynes

Luc Herman

Molly Hite

Kostas Kaltsas

Christopher P. Kocela

John Krafft

Angus McFadzean

Richard Moss

Jeffrey Severs

About the Author/Editor

Ali Chetwynd (Editor)
ALI CHETWYND is an assistant professor and chair of the English Department at the American University of Iraq Sulaimani. His work has appeared in College Literature, English Studies, and Twentieth-Century Literature.

Joanna Freer (Editor)
JOANNA FREER is a lecturer in American literature at the University of Exeter. She is the author of Thomas Pynchon and American Counterculture and is currently an editor of the journal Orbit: A Journal of American Literature.

Georgios Maragos (Editor)
GEORGIOS MARAGOS is an independent scholar from Athens, Greece. His work has appeared in Orbit: A Journal of American Literature.