• E-Books
  • Latest Catalogs
  • Books for Courses
  • Exhibits Listing
  • View Cart

About the Book

Beyond the Book

<SPAN STYLE= "" >The Artistry of Anger</SPAN>

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

Gender and American Culture

ISBN  978-0-8078-5348-1
Published: March 2002

The Artistry of Anger

Black and White Women's Literature in America, 1820-1860

By Linda M. Grasso

Awards & Distinctions

Finalist for the 2003 First Book Prize, Modern Language Association

In this compelling interdisciplinary study, Linda Grasso demonstrates that using anger as a mode of analysis and the basis of an aesthetic transforms our understanding of American women's literary history. Exploring how black and white nineteenth-century women writers defined, expressed, and dramatized anger, Grasso reconceptualizes antebellum women's writing and illuminates an unrecognized tradition of discontent in American literature. She maintains that two equally powerful forces shaped this tradition: women's anger at their exclusion from the democratic promise of America, and the cultural prohibition against its public articulation.

Grasso challenges the common notion that nineteenth-century women's writing is confined to domestic themes and shows instead how women channeled their anger into art that addresses complex political issues such as slavery, nation-building, gender arrangements, and race relations. Cutting across racial and genre boundaries, she considers works by Lydia Maria Child, Maria W. Stewart, Fanny Fern, and Harriet Wilson as superb examples of the artistry of angry expression. Transforming their anger through literary imagination, these writers bequeathed their vision of an alternative America both to their contemporaries and to subsequent generations.

About the Author

Linda M. Grasso is associate professor of English at York College, the City University of New York.


"Grasso writes beautifully, with clarity and grace. Her argument that anger operates as a driving force in the work of both white and black women writers provides an astonishingly simple, accurate, and useful paradigm for readers and scholars trying to understand the pre-Civil War period in American women's writing. Her deeply thoughtful, historically grounded, central idea--along with her penetrating applications of that idea to the work of Child, Stewart, Fern, and Wilson--make this a study that will be widely read and relied upon."
--Elizabeth Ammons, Tufts University

Related Titles

<SPAN STYLE= "" >The Gift of the Face</SPAN>

The Gift of the Face

Portraiture and Time in Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian

By Shamoon Zamir

Rethinking the nature and impact of a major American artist

Learn More »

<SPAN STYLE= "" >The Myth of Seneca Falls</SPAN>

The Myth of Seneca Falls

Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898

By Lisa Tetrault

The evolution of the creation story

Learn More »

<SPAN STYLE= "" >Searching for Scientific Womanpower</SPAN>

Searching for Scientific Womanpower

Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980

By Laura Micheletti Puaca

The story of feminist activism, war, and science

Learn More »

© 2012 The University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
How to Order | Make a Gift | Privacy
Greenpress Initiative Network Solutions