Woman's Place, A

Rhetoric and Readings for Composing Yourself and Your Prose

By Shirley Morahan

Paperback : 9780873954884, 308 pages, June 1981
Hardcover : 9780873955492, 308 pages, June 1981

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A truly liberated rhetoric and reader has at last become available to courses in composition, with the publication of A Woman's Place. This unique textbook explores the notion of writing as self-definition and, as a consequence, the relationship between gender and writing.

Convinced that writing is a meaningful process, performed with commitment, Dr. Morahan has created a course that simultaneously sharpens writing and thinking skills and contributes to the consciousness-raising of women and men in today's world. Her "pedagogy for liberation" creates a student-centered classroom, in which a spirit of collaboration replaces one of competition, by means of peer editing, tutorial approaches, and small group activities.

The literary passages of A Woman's Place are, both stylistically and thematically, tied in with the lessons directly. At the same time, they function as a compact women's studies course. Research and writing are organized around a cluster of shared themes—problems that all students are addressing in their lives: power vs. powerlessness, passivity vs. action, identity, oppression vs. freedom, and the nurturance of creativity. Taken from the works of professional writers, including such well-known individuals as Adrienne Rich, Tillie Olsen, Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Mead, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jonathan Swift, and Sylvia Plath, they are often accompanied by short excerpts from student essays. Useful bibliographical notes suggest further readings.

Shirley Morahan is Director of the Composition Program at Northeast Missouri State University.


"I have never reviewed a book I could so unhesitatingly recommend. " — Margaret M. Culley, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"There are many good composition texts, but, among them, only A Woman's Place approaches writing from this personal and feminist point of view. " — Martha Rainbolt, DePauw University