Christina Stead and the Matter of America

Fiona Morrison

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Format: paperback
196 pages
ISBN: 9781743324493
Publication: 01 Oct 2019
Series: Sydney Studies in Australian Literature

Although Christina Stead is best known for the mid-century masterpiece set in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, The Man Who Loved Children, it was not her only work about the America. Five of Christina Stead’s mid-career novels deal with the United States, capturing and critiquing American life with characteristic sharpness and originality.

In this examination of Stead’s American work, Fiona Morrison explores Stead’s profound engagement with American politics and culture and their influence on her “restlessly experimental” style. Through the turbulent political and artistic debates of the 1930s, the Second World War, and the emergence of McCarthyism, the “matter” of America provoked Stead to continue to create new ways of writing about politics, gender and modernity.

This is the first critical study to focus on Stead’s time in America and its influence on her writing. Morrison argues compellingly that Stead’s American novels “reveal the work of the greatest political woman writer of the mid twentieth century”, and that Stead’s account of American ideology and national identity remains extraordinarily prescient, even today.

Fiona Morrison is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of New South Wales. Her books include Masters in Pieces: The English Canon for the Twenty-First Century (with Michael Parker) and, as editor, Dorothy Hewett: Selected Prose. She is the non-fiction editor of Southerly and Vice President of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

Acknowledgements
Introduction

1. Christina Stead’s “Westward Expansion”: Totality, avant-garde realism and the American folk
2. Fascist miscellanies and the allegory of the domestic front in The Man Who Loved Children
3. Debt, domestic enclosure and daughterly revolution in The Man Who Loved Children
4. The New York love market and the Picara Fortunata in Letty Fox: Her Luck
5. Men, mobility and capital relations A Little Tea, A Little Chat and The People with the Dogs
6. Gargantuan contradictions and the supercession of limits in I’m Dying Laughing

Conclusion
About the author
Works cited
Index

Format: paperback
Size: 254 × 178 × 14 mm
196 pages
Copyright: © 2019
ISBN: 9781743324493
Publication: 01 Oct 2019
Series: Sydney Studies in Australian Literature