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WAL 3 3 ( 2 ) SUMMER 1 9 9 8 Lanigan, who is the author of the definitive Austin biography, Mary Austin: Song of a Maverick (1989), succeeds in her attempt to “faithfully” present Mary Austin as a significant and unique female writer of the American West. It is noteworthy, for instance, that Lanigan honestly and consistently confronts and reconsiders accusations of Austin’s occasional “Anglo-American cultural superiority” in her writings. For this and for her ability to bring to the reader various Austin works which have been previ­ ously unavailable, Lanigan should be applauded. Lanigan states in her general introduction that she hopes readers will have the opportunity to feel “some of the excitement [she] felt when [she] first read Mary Austin.” A Mary Austin Reader does much to help readers access the “exciting,” relevant, and significant works of Mary Austin. Beyond Borders: The Selected Essays of Mary Austin. Edited with an introduction by Reuben J. Ellis. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996. 147 pages, $24.95. Reviewed by M ark Schlenz University of California, Santa Barbara Reuben J. Ellis has provided a tremendous service to long-dedicated scholars of Austin’s prodigious oeuvre as well as to those more recently encountering her work. Reading through Austin’s volumes of fiction alone presents a challenging scholarly task, to say nothing of adding to the mix her autobiography and the number of other nonfiction books she also pub­ lished. Scholars who wish to grasp the scope and breadth of Austin’s entire body of literary production meet an even more daunting task if they attempt to locate and absorb the more than one hundred essays she published in magazines between 1889 and 1933. Ellis facilitates the task immeasurably by bringing together in a scholarly and accessible edition this representative selection of a too-often ignored dimension of Austin’s accomplishment. Ellis’s fine introduction gives sympathetic detail to Austin’s prolific magazine output in context with her personal struggles for economic inde­ pendence as well as artistic achievement. He then places these personal struggles within larger cultural contexts, involving the emergence of the magazine industry in the development of American literary culture. His short commentaries introducing individual selections connect the essays to other developments in Austin’s life, work, and times. The seventeen essays anthologized in Beyond Borders open critical con­ sideration of Mary Austin beyond her already acknowledged significance as a “nature writer” or “western regionalist” to wider appreciation of her more general participation in American intellectual culture. Several essays, including “Sex Emancipation through War” (1918), “Women as Audience” (1922), and “Woman Alone” (1927), provide explicit and developed artic­ ulation of Austin’s involvement in feminist action and thought. Essays such B o o k Re v ie w s 2 0 9 as “The American Form of the Novel” (1927), “Censorship” (1930), and “Regionalism in American Fiction” (1932) reveal Austin’s considerable perspicacity as a literary critic, and many essays demonstrate Austin’s insight as a cultural critic on an even wider range of topics involving inter­ sections of art and political social theory. Ellis also provides more complete bibliographic reference to Austin’s entire body of magazine publication. The result is an impressive, readable volume that should do much to strengthen— and introduce new scholars to— current critical recovery of Austin’s significance in American literary history while also contributing substantially to more general literary study of the rise and significance of American magazine writing and writers in the early twentieth century. Feminist Readings of Native American Literature: Coming to Voice. By Kathleen M. Donovan. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998. 181 pages, $35.00/$19.95. Reviewed by Barbara J. Cook Utah State University In Feminist Readings of Native American Literature, Kathleen M. Donovan seeks to develop a dialogue between feminists and Native Americans. Among the many parallels that exist between Native American literature and fem­ inist literary and cultural theories, Donovan sees the issue of voice as the most fundamental issue raised by both literary fields. She asks, “Who can speak? and how? and under what circumstances? What can be said? And after the ideas find voice, what action can be taken?” (7-8). Donovan...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 208-209
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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