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Christina Stead's Heroine

The Changing Sense of Decorum


Kate Macomber Stern

Christina Stead's Heroine focuses on The Man Who Loved Children and For Love Alone, often considered to be Stead's best works and her only novels in which the protagonists are Stead's autobiographical counterparts (she has spoken frequently of this in interviews and correspondence). The concept of decorum - the way these heroines violate our literary expectations - is discussed as a means of locating these works within the modern tradition. The book also contains a general discussion of Stead's other fiction, as well as biographical information, especially as related to the works considered and usually in Stead's words.