“A fascinating case for the ‘making’ of modernism by women writers through their networking, contestation, and affiliation with each other. This volume’s widely admired contributors more than live up to their reputations with their thought-provoking analyses.”—Holly A. Laird, author of Women Coauthors
Challenging the tendency of scholars to view women writers of the modernist era as isolated artists who competed with one another for critical and cultural acceptance, Women Making Modernism reveals the robust networks women created and maintained that served as platforms and support for women’s literary careers.
The essays in this volume highlight both familiar and lesser-known writers including Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Dorothy Richardson, Emma Goldman, May Sinclair, and Mary Hutchinson. For these writers, relationships and correspondences with other women were key to navigating a literary culture that not only privileged male voices but also reserved most financial and educational opportunities for men. Their examples show how women’s writing communities interconnected to generate a current of energy, innovation, and ambition that was central to the modernist movement. Contributors to this volume argue that the movement’s prominent intellectual networks were dependent on the invisible work of women artists, a fact that the field of modernist studies has too long overlooked.
Amplifying the reality of women’s contributions to modernism, this volume advocates for an “orientation of openness” in reading and teaching literature from the period, helping to ease the tensions between feminist and modernist studies.
Erica Gene Delsandro is assistant professor of women’s and gender studies at Bucknell University.