cover of book

Radicals, Volume 2: Memoir, Essays, and Oratory: Audacious Writings by American Women, 1830-1930
edited by Meredith Stabel and Zachary Turpin
foreword by Katha Pollitt
University of Iowa Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-60938-768-6 | eISBN: 978-1-60938-769-3
Library of Congress Classification PS508.W7
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.809287

Emily Dickinson on sex, desire, and “the chapter . . . in the night.” Emma Goldman against the tyranny of marriage. Ida B. Wells against lynching. Anna Julia Cooper on Black American womanhood. Frances Willard on riding a bicycle. Perhaps the first of its kind, Radicals is a two-volume collection of writings by American women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special attention paid to the voices of Black, Indigenous, and Asian American women.

In Volume 2: Memoir, Essays, and Oratory, selections span from early works like Sarah Mapps Douglass’s anti-slavery appeal “A Mother’s Love” (1832) and Maria W. Stewart’s “Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall” (1833), to Zitkala-Sa’s memories in “The Land of Red Apples” (1921) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s moving final essay “The Right to Die” (1935). In between, readers will discover a whole host of vibrant and challenging lesser-known texts that are rarely collected today. Some, indeed, have been out of print for more than a century.

Unique among anthologies of American literature, Radicals undoes such silences by collecting the underrepresented, the uncategorizable, the unbowed—powerful writings by American women of genius and audacity who looked toward, and wrote toward, what Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “a lifted world.”

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