A Literary and Cultural History
Publication: Oct 08
Publication: Jul 08
6 x 9
The history of the shifting image of the tomboy in popular culture
Tomboys is the first full-length study about this gender-bending code of female conduct. Starting with the figure of the hoyden in the 1840s and ending with the "Girl Power" movement of the 1990s, the project uncovers the origins of tomboyism, charts its trajectory, and traces the literary and cultural transformations that the concept has undergone in the United States. Each of the book's nine chapters draws on a diverse array of materials, from well-known works about tomboyish characters like Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding and Peter Bogdanovich's film Paper Moon to lesser-known texts like E.D.E.N. Southworth's once wildly popular 1859 novel The Hidden Hand, Cold War lesbian pulp fiction and New Queer Cinema from the 1990s. In doing so, this study exposes unknown aspects of a cultural concept and literary phenomenon with which many think they are already familiar.