Middlebrow Moderns: Popular American Women Writers of the 1920s. Edited by Lisa Botshon and Meredith Goldsmith. Boston: Northeastern University Press. 301 pp. $50.00/$22.50 paper. Reviewed by Martha Patterson, Spring Hill College Fitzgerald called the "Jazz Age"the "greatest,gaudiest spree in history," and it has long epitomized the hedonism of a youth culture wary of Victorian strictures and morality. Yet for Joan Shelley Rubin, who wrote the foreword to Middlebrow Moderns: Popular American Women Writers of the 1920s, a woman such as "Anne Elizabeth"represents literary history's forgotten female middlebrow moderns; in 1921 Anne Elizabeth wrote, "Now, why won't you believe that a person can be 20 and live in Chicago and yet have old-fashioned ideas? Please believe that I do hate studio parties and the `new' literature and blasé youths, and that I can like organ music and lolly-pops and Thackeray and still be modern." The popular women writers of the 1920s discussed in this book did not claim the kind of edgy ennui of the highbrow modernists, but they nonetheless saw themselves as modern. It is this largely neglected but tremendously influential segment of women writers that Lisa Botshon and Meredith Goldsmith recover and reframe in their anthology. The
Legacy – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 25, 2004
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