Creating Safe Space

Violence and Women's Writing

Edited by Tomoko Kuribayashi & Julie Tharp

Subjects: American Literature
Paperback : 9780791435649, 239 pages, December 1997
Hardcover : 9780791435632, 239 pages, December 1997

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Table of contents



I Stand Here Naked, and Best Dressed in Theory:
Feminist Re-fashionings of Academic Discourse

Brenda Daly

The Solace of Separation:
Feminist Theory, Autobiography, Edith Wharton, and Me

Susan L. Woods

Fighting Back on Paper and in Real Life:
Sexual Abuse Narratives and the Creation of Safe Space

Sonia C. Apgar


Incest and Rage in Charlotte Brontë's Novelettes

Susan Anne Carlson

Safe Space or Danger Zone?:
Incest and the Paradox of Writing in Woolf's Life

Diana L. Swanson

"One Need not be a Chamber—to be Haunted":
Emily Dickinson's Haunted Space

Mary Jo Dondlinger

"There is no home there": Re(his)tor(iciz)ing Captivity and the Other in Spofford's "Circumstance"

Lisa Logan

"Entirely Unprotected": Rebecca Ketcham's Trail Diary

Mary Sylwester

Safe Space and Storytelling: Willa Cather's Shadows on the Rock

Linda K. Karell


The Chicana Girl Writes Her Way In and Out: Space and Bilingualism in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street

Tomoko Kuribayashi

Abuse and Its Pleasures: Compensatory Fantasy in the Popular Fiction of Anne Rice

Annalee Newitz

On Blues, Autobiography, and Performative Utterance: The Jouissance of Alberta Hunter

Kari J. Winter

"In the Center of My Body is a Rift": Trauma and Recovery in Joy Kogawa's Obasan and Itsuka

Julie Tharp




Subject Indexs

An anthology of literary essays focusing on the ways in which sexual, emotional, physical, racial, and other forms of violence have affected women artists' imaginations.


Creating Safe Space: Violence and Women's Writing defines the role of women's writing in the face of violence and suggests the degree to which violence has affected women from diverse periods, places, and social backgrounds. The book examines the ways in which women use their writing to redefine their experiences of abuse, to give themselves a voice in order to break the silence imposed on women in patriarchal society, and to start challenging and changing a culture that objectifies, degrades, and destroys women.

The women discussed in the book include established authors, such as Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and Charlotte Bronte, as well as contemporary artists including Anne Rice and Joy Kogawa.

A number of essays illuminate ways in which writing can be employed in women's workshops and college classrooms. They bridge the interdisciplinary distances among the fields of literary criticism, creative writing, psychology, sociology, social welfare, history, journalism, education, and others in which feminist scholars have worked to draw public attention to, and provide solutions to, the various kinds of abuse women endure.

Tomoko Kuribayashi is Assistant Professor of English at Trinity College of Vermont. Julie Tharp is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin.


"Creating Safe Space is an extremely important addition to the feminist work on sexual violence. Each essay in this marvelous collection documents how women writers have, for centuries, given voice through art to the abuse they suffered. This collection will ensure that their writing will be read as testimony. " -- Louise DeSalvo, Hunter College