The Pleasure of the Feminist Text

Reading Michèle Roberts and Angela Carter


“I would regard myself as a feminist writer, because I’m a feminist in everything else and one can’t compartmentalise these things in one’s life.” (Angela Carter)
“When I became a feminist in 1968, I felt that I’d come home: the first home I ever had that was feminine. And it was very wild and theatrical and erotic, the early feminism.” (Michèle Roberts)
Angela Carter and Michèle Roberts share a keen interest in gender and sexual identity, but many of their topics seem to mark them as opposites: Roberts’s fascination with the impact of religion, motherhood and autobiography on female identity covers areas that Carter shuns in her writings. In reading these two authors parallel and in contrast to each other, this monograph follows a triple objective: it provides a comprehensive critical introduction to the works of Roberts, explores aspects of Carter’s work that have not yet been analyzed sufficiently (religion, motherhood, and masculinity), and uses both authors to explore motifs and strategies of feminist writing. The analyses of both authors’ works are supplemented by close readings of a wide range of theoretical perspectives (especially French feminism and psychoanalysis) and concise theoretical outlines of the topics covered (radical feminism, religion, motherhood and fatherhood, masculinity, fairy tales, romances and chick lit, and history and auto/biography).

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List of Abbreviations
Introduction: The Pleasure of the Feminist Text
Exploring/Challenging Radical Feminism(s)
Feminism and Faith – Feminist Faith?
Mothers, Fathers, Couples – Negotiating Intimate Relationships
Writing Masculinities
Popular Genres: Sexy Fairy Tales, Feminist Romances, Chick Lit
History and Auto/Biography
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