Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: October 18, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979344 | Print ISBN: 9781412960830 | Online ISBN: 9781412979344| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 96: Women Writers as Leaders
Martine Watson Brownley
Women writers as leaders For centuries, in many different countries and in diverse ways, women writers have found or created opportunities for leadership through their literary works. Within the Anglo-American context, women writers drew on a variety of genres as they molded their leadership roles. Female polemicists such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Addams produced powerful nonfiction that engaged the burning intellectual and political issues of their times, as did journalists from Ida M. Tarbell to Katha Pollitt and Susan Faludi. Among women poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning composed fierce attacks on slavery, Gwendolyn Brooks addressed the status of African American women, and Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Adrienne Rich reflected second-wave feminist visions and revisions. Historically, however, the genre in which Anglo-American women have most successfully exercised leadership has been the novel. Because of the critical consensus on the importance of the novel to women writers, and also because some ...