Vagabond Fictions: Gender and Experiment in British Women's Fiction, 1945-1970

Sweeney, Carole. 2020. Vagabond Fictions: Gender and Experiment in British Women's Fiction, 1945-1970. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9781474426176 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Filling in a blank spot in the history of twentieth-century women’s writing, Carole Sweeney examines the work of five experimental writers, Anna Kavan, Brigid Brophy, Christine Brooke-Rose, Eva Figes and Ann Quin, whose writing has been neglected in accounts of the development of post-1945 British literature. Each of these writers, Sweeney argues, engaged in diverse formal experiments that challenge the critical commonplace suggesting that after the end of aesthetic modernism the mid-century British novel was characterised by a wholesale return to realism. Avoiding any insistence on a straightforward opposition between literary realism and experimentalism, this study draws upon original archival and biographical material and offers close readings of the creative and critical work of these ‘vagabond’ writers, demonstrating how they wrote against aesthetic and thematic conventions of their times and negotiated (and often repudiated) concepts of ‘feminine’ writing.

Item Type:



women's literature, gender, feminism, postwar Britain

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


30 November 2020

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2020 10:28

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2020 16:37


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