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Frances Newman [electronic resource] : Southern Satirist and Literary Rebel

By: Wade, Barbara Ann.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2013Description: 1 online resource (219 p.).ISBN: 9780817386610.Subject(s): Feminism and literature -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century | Newman, Frances, -1928 -- Criticism and interpretation | Satire, American -- History and criticism | Southern States -- In literature | Women and literature -- Southern States -- History -- 20th centuryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Frances Newman : Southern Satirist and Literary RebelDDC classification: 813.52 | 813/.52 Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Living as a Southern Lady and Literary Rebel; 2. Demythologizing the Southern Lady; 3. Questioning Social Change; 4. Revising Literary Conventions; 5. Experimenting with Novelistic Devices; Notes; Works Cited; Index
Summary: This first biographical and literary assessment of Frances Newman highlights one of the most experimental writers of the Southern Renaissance. Novelist, translator, critic, and acerbic book reviewer Frances Newman (1883-1928) was praised by Virginia novelist James Branch Cabell and critic H. L. Mencken. Her experimental novels The Hard-Boiled Virgin (1926) and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers (1928), have recently begun to receive serious critical attention, but this is the first book-length study to focus both on Newman''s life and on her fiction. Frances Newman was born into a prominent Atlanta family and was educated at private schools in the South and the Northeast. Her first novel, The Hard-Boiled Virgin, was hailed by James Branch Cabell as "the most brilliant, the most candid, the most civilized, and the most profound yet written by any American woman." Cabell and H. L. Mencken became Newman''s literary mentors and loyally supported her satire of southern culture, which revealed the racism, class prejudice, and religious intolerance that reinforced the idealized image of the white southern lady. Writing within a nearly forgotten feminist tradition of southern women''s fiction, Newman portrayed the widely acclaimed social change in the early part of the century in the South as superficial rather than substantial, with its continued restrictive roles for women in courtship and marriage and limited educational and career opportunities. Barbara Wade explores Newman''s place in the feminist literary tradition by comparing her novels with those of her contemporaries Ellen Glasgow, Mary Johnston, and Isa Glenn. Wade draws from Newman''s personal correspondence and newspaper articles to reveal a vibrant, independent woman who simultaneously defied and was influenced by the traditional southern society she satirized in her writing.  
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Description based upon print version of record.

Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Living as a Southern Lady and Literary Rebel; 2. Demythologizing the Southern Lady; 3. Questioning Social Change; 4. Revising Literary Conventions; 5. Experimenting with Novelistic Devices; Notes; Works Cited; Index

This first biographical and literary assessment of Frances Newman highlights one of the most experimental writers of the Southern Renaissance. Novelist, translator, critic, and acerbic book reviewer Frances Newman (1883-1928) was praised by Virginia novelist James Branch Cabell and critic H. L. Mencken. Her experimental novels The Hard-Boiled Virgin (1926) and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers (1928), have recently begun to receive serious critical attention, but this is the first book-length study to focus both on Newman''s life and on her fiction. Frances Newman was born into a prominent Atlanta family and was educated at private schools in the South and the Northeast. Her first novel, The Hard-Boiled Virgin, was hailed by James Branch Cabell as "the most brilliant, the most candid, the most civilized, and the most profound yet written by any American woman." Cabell and H. L. Mencken became Newman''s literary mentors and loyally supported her satire of southern culture, which revealed the racism, class prejudice, and religious intolerance that reinforced the idealized image of the white southern lady. Writing within a nearly forgotten feminist tradition of southern women''s fiction, Newman portrayed the widely acclaimed social change in the early part of the century in the South as superficial rather than substantial, with its continued restrictive roles for women in courtship and marriage and limited educational and career opportunities. Barbara Wade explores Newman''s place in the feminist literary tradition by comparing her novels with those of her contemporaries Ellen Glasgow, Mary Johnston, and Isa Glenn. Wade draws from Newman''s personal correspondence and newspaper articles to reveal a vibrant, independent woman who simultaneously defied and was influenced by the traditional southern society she satirized in her writing.  

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

The titles of the only two novels Atlanta-born Newman published in her short lifetime (1883-1928)--The Hard-Boiled Virgin and Dead Lovers Are Faithful Lovers--suggest at once that their author did not fit the stereotype of the southern lady romancer. Though Newman appeared on bestseller lists alongside Hemingway, Lewis, and Glasgow, her early fame and notoriety did not translate into lasting literary acclaim. However, both novels are now back in print, and Wade (Berea College) gives readers good reason to reevaluate and appreciate Newman's daring role as "Southern satirist and literary rebel." Building on her dissertation, Wade shows how Newman, far from being intimidated by the southern genteel code she grew up with, learned to flout conventions, mix trenchant feminist social criticism with highly entertaining narratives, and develop a complex literary style that enabled her to portray with impunity what would normally be unmentionable. In addition to a thorough analysis of Newman's fiction and journalistic work, Wade provides a succinct biographical sketch, an excellent sense of Newman's cultural background, and an extensive bibliography--all well designed to help readers rediscover an almost forgotten talent. All academic and public collections. A. J. Griffith; Our Lady of the Lake University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p> Barbara Ann Wade is Associate Professor of English and Theatre at Berea College.</p>

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