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Risky Business

Elaine Showalter, 22 September 1994

Telling Women’s Lives: The New Biography 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 201 pp., $22.95, July 1994, 0 8135 2092 4
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... Linda Wagner-Martin, a highly respected scholar of American literature who teaches at the University of North Carolina, was bewildered by the hostile reception in Britain of her biography of Sylvia Plath, published in 1987. Not only had she run into major conflicts with the Plath estate, she explains in her preface to Telling Women’s Lives, but some critics saw her as both an ‘unethical commercial writer’ and a radical feminist ...

Mother

Wendy Steiner, 19 October 1995

Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... mother of us all’. They have had another effect as well, which is especially evident in Linda Wagner-Martin’s ‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family. Here the inspiring, if slightly cartoonish, legend of Stein as a genius spinning idiosyncrasy into gold is replaced by a depressing pseudo-realism. ‘Shadowed with ...

Dye the Steak Blue

Lidija Haas: Shirley Jackson, 19 August 2010

Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories 
edited by Joyce Carol Oates.
Library of America, 827 pp., $35, May 2010, 978 1 59853 072 8
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... Hangsaman (1951), which charts a young woman’s mental deterioration: she asked to meet Jackson, Linda Wagner-Martin relates in her 1987 biography of Plath, when she was working at Mademoiselle in the summer of 1953. Wagner-Martin has elsewhere called the 1950s ‘the decade of Jackson’, although an interviewer ...

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