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Jo's Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure, True Grit and Real Life written by Christian McEwan

 

Jo's Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure, True Grit and Real Life written by Christian McEwan

Overview:

Louisa May Alcott's energetic, ambitious, and androgynous Jo March has inspired generations of tomboys. But at the close of Little Women even Jo's valiant tomboy spirit has been subordinated to her role as wife and mother. For Jo's Girls, editor Christian McEwen has assembled a collection of fiction and memoir that looks at what it has really meant to be a tomboy from the nineteenth century to the present-and at what the refusal to turn into a "young lady" has implied.

Contributors include: Toni Cade Bambara, Willa Cather, Sandra Cisneros, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Alexis De Veaux, Annie Dillard, Nadezhda Durova, Leslie Feinberg, Emily Hiestand, Maria Hinojosa, Teresa Jordan, Jamaica Kincaid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Anne LaBastille, Ursula K. Le Guin, Bia Lowe, Carson McCullers, Susan Moon, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Rose Tremain, Frances Willard, Opal Whiteley, Virginia Woolf

Synopsis:

Louisa May Alcott's energetic, ambitious, and androgynous Jo March has inspired generations of tomboys. But at the close of Little Women even Jo's valiant tomboy spirit has been subordinated to her role as wife and mother. For Jo's Girls, editor Christian McEwen has assembled a collection of fiction and memoir that looks at what it has really meant to be a tomboy from the nineteenth century to the present-and at what the refusal to turn into a "young lady" has implied.

Contributors include: Toni Cade Bambara, Willa Cather, Sandra Cisneros, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Alexis De Veaux, Annie Dillard, Nadezhda Durova, Leslie Feinberg, Emily Hiestand, Maria Hinojosa, Teresa Jordan, Jamaica Kincaid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Anne LaBastille, Ursula K. Le Guin, Bia Lowe, Carson McCullers, Susan Moon, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Rose Tremain, Frances Willard, Opal Whiteley, Virginia Woolf

Publishers Weekly

This collection by 40 first-time writers and well-known authors (Willa Cather, Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf among them) celebrates real-life tomboy heroines inspired by such classic examples as Louisa May Alcott's Jo March. Arranged to follow the ages of hoydenism from youngest "Tombabies" through to "Tomboy Resurgent," the personal essays and occasional short fiction here describe androgynous heroines who embody what McEwen calls "a certain liveliness and fervor... a certain authenticity of spirit." In Lara Cardella's excerpt from Good Girls Don't Wear Trousers young Annetta is shocked to learn that becoming a man is physically impossible; while in Frances Willard's 19th-century autobiography, she describes her 18th birthday, when she announced to her father that she could do what she thought right: in this case, reading the heretofore forbidden Ivanhoe. But there is certainly much more to this anthology than girls who climb trees or cross-dress. In Maria Hinojosa's "i trust the crew more than i trust any guy," Latina gang members from Manhattan's Lower East Side discuss drugs and violence, while in an excerpt from Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women, a teenage girl rationalizes an unpleasant sexual experience: "men were supposed to be able to go out and take on all kinds of experiences and shuck off what they didn't want and come back proud... I had decided to do the same." Readers of both genders will find this collection memorable for the spirited voices gathered between its covers. (June)

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Title: Jo's Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure, True Grit and Real Life

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