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She’s Leaving Home

Women’s Writing in English in a European Context


Nóra Séllei and June Waudby

This collection of essays, written by scholars from all over Europe, explores the cultural meanings of women leaving home. Although all the chapters analyse writings in English, the volume aims to put the narrative element of home-leaving into a European context by investigating travel in various directions: from England to somewhere abroad, from the (former) colonies to the (former) imperial centre or simply within a psychic space. The female figures discussed in the volume leave home for various reasons – to go into exile, to challenge orthodox conceptions of femininity, to travel for pleasure or out of curiosity – but ultimately each of them has to face questions of the definitions of home, belonging and otherness. Consequently, the essays in this collection focus on how the cross-cultural encounters implicated in discourses of race, gender, nation and religion affect female identity. The ‘protagonists’ of these narratives range from mythical heroines to early modern Protestant refugees to fictitious and historical figures from the past 200 years. The discussion throughout is informed by contemporary theories of gender, literary and cultural studies.
Contents: Patsy Stoneman/Angela Leighton: General Editors’ Preface – Nóra Séllei: Introduction: She’s Leaving Home – Gudrun-Axeli Knapp: Race, Class, Gender: Reclaiming Baggage in Fast Travelling Theories – Gabriele Griffin: Figuring Home: Identity and Belonging in the Work of Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain – Julia Salmerón: ‘Yes, I’m goin to Europe to make a mint’: The Painful Journey of Saartjie Baartman and Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus – Irén E. Annus: The Unheroine: The Figure of the Spinster in Doris Lessing’s ‘The Trinket Box’ – Nóra Séllei: Travelling Agency: Female Subjectivity in Narratives of Home-Leaving and in Foreign Parts – Valerie Sanders: Writing Elopement: Secrecy and Sensation – Andrew Monnickendam: Running away from Home, Business is the Only Answer: Deconstructing the Love-Plot in Margaret Oliphant’s Kirsteen (1890) – Tamás Bényei: Heroes and Home-Makers: Tropes of Travelling in Jeanette Winterson’s Sexing the Cherry – Anna Kérchy: Feminist Psychogeography and Jeanette Winterson’s Passions – Ann Hoag: Remapping Home: Gender and Nation in Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon – Annamaria Lamarra: Leaving Home and Living Through War – Andrea P. Balogh: ‘Home Sweet Home’: Eavan Boland and the Trope of Exile at the Intersection of Nation, Class and Gender – Eilish Rooney: Leaving Home and Staying Put: Intersectional Narratives from Northern Ireland’s Transition – Milada Franková: Leto Had to Leave Home: Across Europe from Mythology to the Third Millennium – June Waudby: Anne Locke: Exile, Protest and Propaganda – Erin Henriksen: ‘Two Quaker Housewives’ and Their Books: Cross-Cultural Encounters and Local Reading Communities in Early Modern Europe – Eleonora Federici: Flying Away from Home: Amy Johnson.