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EN3223 The Girl in the Book

Summer Reading List 2016-17

Course tutor: Dr Betty Jay

This course examines fictional representations of the girl across a range of texts, from George Eliot's portrait of the rebellious Maggie through to Antonia White's Catholic schoolgirl and Ian McEwan's remorseful Briony Taliis. As well as enabling an exploration of female development and subjectivity, the texts under consideration also engage with a range of questions relating to sexuality and desire, place and belonging, knowledge and resistance, art and creativity. While some of these texts adopt the traditional form of the Bildungroman, others seek to adapt or subvert traditional literary and generic conventions. For this reason, a concern with the formal and aesthetic qualities of these fictions will run alongside discussion of conceptual and ideological issues.

Primary Texts

  • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, [1860] (Vintage, 2010)
  • Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, [1868] (Penguin, 2007)
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, [1861] (Penguin, 2004)
  • Willa Cather, My Antonia, [1918] (Virago, 1997)
  • Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness, [1928] (Virago, 2008)
  • Antonia White, Frost in May, [1933] (Virago, 2006)
  • Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding, [1946] (Penguin, 2008)
  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, [1960] (Vintage, 2007)
  • Angela Carter, The Magic Toyshop, [1967] (Virago, 2001)
  • Jeanette Winterson, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, [1985] (Vintage, 2009)
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior. Memoirs of a Childhood Among Ghosts, [1975] (Vintage, 1989)
  • Ian McEwan, Antonement, [2001] (Vintage, 2007)
  • Daniel Woodrell, Winter's Bone, (2006)


There will be a weekly lecture and seminar in both the Autumn and Spring Terms.



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