About the Book
A bold literary history that says women’s writing is defined less by domestic concerns than by an engagement with public life
In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women’s writing, At Home in the World argues that this work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord show that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life. Exploring works by a wide range of writers, including canonical, neglected, and contemporary figures, this compelling and concise literary history uncovers the public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.
Maria DiBattista is the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English at Princeton University. Her books include Novel Characters and Imagining Virginia Woolf (Princeton). Deborah Epstein Nord is the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton. Her books include Gypsies and the British Imagination, 1807–1930 and Walking the Victorian Streets.
"A much-needed reexamination of women's writing. . . . Sure to become an important addition to feminist literary theory and cultural studies."—Library Journal
"Shortlisted for the 2018 Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa Society"
“Thoughtful and lively. . . . While it is a tall order to compress 200 years into the same number of pages, the authors succeed admirably. Their introduction to the characters, plotlines and insights of this creative and quirky group is like a smorgasbord of appetisers reminding hungry readers just how tasty these cuisines are. . . . At Home in the World performs an extraordinary service. It shows that women deserve to be read as commentators on the world of affairs.”—Elizabeth Cobbs, Times Higher Education
"Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award in Literature, Association of American Publishers"
“In their re-evaluation of the past 200 years of women’s writing, DiBattista and Epstein Nord position Austen as the forerunner of an alternative, public-facing sisterhood in which anti-domestic heroines, wanderers, visionaries and dreamers voyage out.”—Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement