With the literary canon consisting mostly of works created by and about men, the central perspective is decidedly male. This unique reference offers alternate approaches to reading traditional literature, as well as suggestions for expanding the canon to include more gender sensitive works. Covering 96 of the most frequently taught works of fiction, essays offer teachers, librarians, and students fresh insights into the female perspective in literature. The list of titles, created in consultation with educators, includes classic works by male authors like Dickens, Faulkner, and Twain, balanced with works by female authors such as Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Also included are contemporary works by writers such as Alice Walker and Margaret Atwood that are being incorporated into the curriculum, as well as those advancing a more global view, such as Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The essays are expertly written in an accessible language that will help students gain greater awareness of gender-related themes. Suggestions for classroom discussions—with selected works for further study—are incorporated into the entries. The volume is organized alphabetically by title and includes both author and subject indexes. An appendix of gender-related themes further enhances this volume’s usefulness for curriculum applications and student research projects.