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Isolation and Masquerade

Willa Cather's Women


Frances W. Kaye

Although generations of readers have derived enormous satisfaction from the victories of Willa Cather's great woman characters, and recent lesbian critics and others have triumphantly claimed her as a lesbian writer, few readers or critics have noticed the strain of mistrust for most women that runs through virtually all of Cather's work. This study traces the troubling undercurrent of misogyny signalled by isolation and masquerade in Cather's fiction. It also discusses the ways it affects her portrayals of all her female characters, and how we as readers may respond.
Contents: Book traces themes of isolation and masquerade in Cather's work from her earliest writings to her last published fiction and ties the pattern of misogny to the circumstances of Cather's life.