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The Land Before Her

Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860

By Annette Kolodny

314 pp., 6.125 x 9.25

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4111-2
    Published: February 1984
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1955-2
    Published: July 2014

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Awards & distinctions

1986 Emily Toth Award, Women's Caucus of the Popular and American Culture Associations

To discover how women constructed their own mythology of the West, Kolodny examines the evidence of three generations of women's writing about the frontier. She finds that, although the American frontiersman imagined the wilderness as virgin land, an unspoiled Eve to be taken, the pioneer woman at his side dreamed more modestly of a garden to be cultivated. Both intellectual and cultural history, this volume continues Kolodny's study of frontier mythology begun in The Lay of the Land.

About the Author

Annette Kolodny is former Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. She currently teaches courses on ecocriticism and the American frontiers at the University of Arizona.


For more information about Annette Kolodny, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"This is not only a masterful work of scholarship and organization, but a much-needed counter-balance to the much-articulated myth of the American Adam. . . . In redeeming this material from oblivion, Annette Kolodny permits us a privileged look at roots we may otherwise never have known we had."--Margaret Atwood

"[Kolodny's] ambitious study of women's changing responses to the experience of settling the American continent radically revises our understanding of both American history and American literature. . . . Again and again, her sensitivity to issues of gender has led her to see familiar texts in dazzlingly original ways."--Journal of English and Germanic Philology

"Masterful . . . . It reads like a good detective story, and appeals to the same instincts for discovery of the hidden, for problem solving. In redeeming this material from oblivion, Annette Kolodny permits us a privileged look at roots we may otherwise never have known we had.'