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Westerns: A Woman's History by Victoria Lamont (review)

Westerns: A Woman's History by Victoria Lamont (review) Book Reviews Victoria Lamont, Westerns: A Woman’s History. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2016. 210 pp. Cloth, $55. One frustration voiced by those working in the fi eld of western women’s literature is how often editors, peer reviewers, and well- meaning colleagues urge one to read and cite Jane Tompkins’s 1992 West of Everything: Th e Inner Life of Westerns and, more recently, Nina Baym’s comprehensive Women Writers of the American West, 1833– 1927 (2011). With Victoria Lamont’s Westerns: A Woman’s His- tory, however, we now have a more useful, more persuasive, and more provocative study about the West and women’s cultural pro- duction by a scholar who has devoted her career to the subject. I am hopeful this book will become the new default recommendation, as it certainly warrants. In Lamont’s words, Westerns: A Woman’s History is “a revisionist account of the origins of the popular western” that recovers “the many women who helped constitute the genre” (1). It proves just how wrong Tompkins gets it in conceiving of the Western as “a male- authored backlash against the woman- authored sentimental novel” (2), as well as the fallacy of a more widespread belief that women’s Westerns were necessarily http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

Westerns: A Woman's History by Victoria Lamont (review)

Western American Literature , Volume 52 (3) – Nov 30, 2017

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

Book Reviews Victoria Lamont, Westerns: A Woman’s History. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2016. 210 pp. Cloth, $55. One frustration voiced by those working in the fi eld of western women’s literature is how often editors, peer reviewers, and well- meaning colleagues urge one to read and cite Jane Tompkins’s 1992 West of Everything: Th e Inner Life of Westerns and, more recently, Nina Baym’s comprehensive Women Writers of the American West, 1833– 1927 (2011). With Victoria Lamont’s Westerns: A Woman’s His- tory, however, we now have a more useful, more persuasive, and more provocative study about the West and women’s cultural pro- duction by a scholar who has devoted her career to the subject. I am hopeful this book will become the new default recommendation, as it certainly warrants. In Lamont’s words, Westerns: A Woman’s History is “a revisionist account of the origins of the popular western” that recovers “the many women who helped constitute the genre” (1). It proves just how wrong Tompkins gets it in conceiving of the Western as “a male- authored backlash against the woman- authored sentimental novel” (2), as well as the fallacy of a more widespread belief that women’s Westerns were necessarily

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Nov 30, 2017

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