Between the Novel and the News
While American literary history has long acknowledged the profound influenceof journalism on canonical male writers, Sari Edelstein argues that American women writers were alsoinfluenced by a dynamic relationship with the mainstream press. From the early republic through theturn of the twentieth century, she offers a comprehensive reassessment of writers such as CatharineMaria Sedgwick, Harriet Jacobs, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Drawing on slave narratives,sentimental novels, and realist fiction, Edelstein examines how advances injournalism-including the emergence of the penny press, the rise of the story-paper, andthe birth of eyewitness reportage-shaped not only a female literary tradition but also genderconventions themselves. Excluded from formal politics and lacking the vote, womenwriters were deft analysts of the prevalent tropes and aesthetic gestures of journalism, which theyalternately relied upon and resisted in their efforts to influence public opinion and to intervenein political debates. Ultimately, Between the Novel and the News is a project ofrecovery that transforms our understanding of the genesis and the development of Americanwomen's writing.
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