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Contemporary Feminism and Women’s Short Stories

Emma Young

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New reading of contemporary feminisms and the short story

The short story has received renewed attention and notable popular acclaim in the twenty-first century. This book offers a wide-ranging survey of contemporary women’s short stories and introduces a new way of theorising feminism in the genre through the concept of ‘the moment’. By considering the prominent themes of motherhood, marriage, domesticity, sexuality, masculinity and femininity, this work engages with a spectrum of issues that are central to feminism today and, in the process, offers insightful new readings of the contemporary short story. Readers will find new perspectives on both canonical as well as lesser-discussed contemporary writers, including Kate Atkinson, Nicola Barker, A.S. Byatt, Aminatta Forna, Victoria Hislop, Jackie Kay, Andrea Levy, Hilary Mantel, Kate Mosse, Michèle Roberts, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith and Rose Tremain. While serving as a comprehensive introduction to the central themes of feminist politics, the study shows what makes the short story a desirable literary vehicle for creatively and critically contributing to feminist debates.

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Introduction: Contexts, Politics and Genre
1. Femininity
2. Motherhood
3. Marriage and Domesticity
4. Masculinity
5. Sexuality

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).

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