A Fragile Optimism: Writing Liminality and Hybridity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Leslie Allison’s introduction to Part III charts a brief history of American women writers’ thematic engagement with liminality and hybridity in literary works from the early twentieth century to 2013. Placing the section’s essays in conversation with writers such as Kate Chopin and Nella Larsen, Allison demonstrates that hybridity and liminality have been defining concepts of twentieth- and twenty-first-century women’s writing. Writing both about and from places of hybridity and liminality, twentieth- and twenty-first- century women writers engage with questions of identity, globalization, immigration, and state surveillance in their works. In turn, without dismissing literature’s limitations, contemporary American women writers offer a vision of literature as a tool for social transformation.
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