"Big Cats and the Femme Fatale in Yda H. Addis's 'A Human Tigress'" presents to modern readers for the first time in its original form Yda Hillis Addis's "A Human Tigress" (1893), in which the title character, a mysterious nude woman with clawlike fingers, seduces then disembowels sexually threatening men. Working within and against the American literary tradition characterized by masculinist panther-killing episodes and narratives of panthers and panther-like men who "hunt" women, Addis critiques male sexual license on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border by creating a landscape where strong, lustful men (American and Mexican) encounter and more often than not fall victim to an even stronger feline woman. As the product of Addis's frequent border crossings and time spent living and working in Mexico, the tale adds a unique transnational dimension to our current understanding of how late-nineteenth-century American women writers responded to the social problem of male sexual authority.


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pp. 293-308
Launched on MUSE
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