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British Women Short Story Writers

The New Woman to Now

Edited by Emma Young, James Bailey

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Essays tracing the evolving relationship between British women writers and the short story genre from the late Nineteenth Century to the present day.

What is the relationship between the British woman writer and the short story? Considering the effect of literary inheritances, societal and cultural change, and shifting publishing demands, this collection traces the evolution of the genre through to its continued appeal to women writing today; from the New Woman to contemporary feminisms, women's anthologies to micro fiction, and modernist writers to the contemporary works.

Key Features

  • A foreword by Ali Smith and 12 chapters discuss a range of gender and genre issues since the fin-de-siècle to the present day.
  • A comprehensive account of the genre’s development provides a unique insight into a largely neglected aspect of women’s writing.
  • Sets out a clear trajectory to map both the historical and literary connections and divergences between British women short story writers.
  • Offers a comprehensive account of the genre’s development to provide scholars with a unique insight into a largely neglected aspect of women’s writing.
  • Includes new readings of canonical authors alongside more recent theoretical approaches, innovations and lesser-discussed writers.

About the Author

Emma Young lectures at University Campus Oldham. She has published widely in the field of contemporary women’s fiction, with a particular focus on the politics of gender and sexuality. Emma is the co-editor of British Women Short Story Writers: The New Woman to Now (EUP, 2016) and an Executive Committee Member of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA).

James Bailey is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Sheffield where he is also a final-year Ph.D candidate. His thesis examines the treatment of time and free will in the fiction of Muriel Spark. His most recent article, ‘Repetition, boredom despair’: Muriel Spark and the Eichmann Trial’ was published in both Holocaust Studies and an edited collection, Representing Perpetrators, in 2012.


The cast of authors assembled here is of an exceptionally high quality, and the range of topics and approaches is very well judged. It seems reasonable now to start speaking about the "new short story studies". This book is at the forefront of that movement, and is likely to remain so for some time.

- Dr Adrian Hunter, University of Stirling

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