Women on the edge: ethnicity and gender in short stories by American women
Corinne Howell Dale, John H. E. Paine
This collection of essays explores the intertwining social conditions of ethnicity and gender as they are represented in short stories by contemporary American women. The introduction to the collection explains the theoretical understanding of gender and ethnicity as social constructions that provide a context for individual experience. The collection brings together analyses of short stories that focus on major ethnic cultures in the United States: Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Japanese American, Asian American, African American, Jewish American, white Protestant American, and Native American. Each essay testifies to the struggles of women within patriarchal cultures in America, and each explores how different ethnic identities set the terms of these gender struggles. The essays also reveal the complications of other important social issues, such as class, sexual preference, and religion. Individually, each essay contributes a significant new analysis of a short story or collection by an important contemporary American writer. Together, the essays indicate the complexity and significance of this cultural approach to women's fiction, demonstrate the critical theories that are currently developing in the fields of gender and ethnic studies, and suggest that neither ethnicity nor gender can legitimately be considered alone.