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Out of the closet

Tom Paulin, 29 October 1987

Emily Dickinson 
by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 208 pp., £3.50, April 1986, 0 86068 619 1
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Emily Dickinson: Looking to Canaan 
by John Robinson.
Faber, 191 pp., £3.95, August 1986, 0 571 13943 4
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Emily Dickinson: A Poet’s Grammar 
by Christanne Miller.
Harvard, 212 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 674 25035 4
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Emily Dickinson: The Poet on the Second Story 
by Jerome Loving.
Cambridge, 128 pp., £20, April 1987, 0 521 32781 4
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... were used freely as value-judgments in critical discourse. As Helen McNeil points out in her centenary study, Emily Dickinson entered the 20th century seeming to have written a series of ‘over-sensitive, coy, rather ill-disciplined poems’. Feminist critics have challenged this sexist ...

Clytie’s Legs

Daniel Aaron, 2 May 1985

The Optimist’s Daughter 
by Eudora Welty, introduced by Helen McNeil.
Virago, 180 pp., £3.50, October 1984, 0 86068 375 3
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One Writer’s Beginnings 
by Eudora Welty.
Harvard, 136 pp., £8.80, April 1984, 0 674 63925 1
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The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty 
Penguin, 622 pp., £4.95, November 1983, 0 14 006381 1Show More
Conversations with Eudora Welty 
edited by Peggy Whitman Prenshaw.
Mississippi, 356 pp., £9.50, October 1984, 0 87805 206 2
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... and to confront Wanda Fay, his obnoxious wife. Toward this young woman (a ‘ball of fluff’, as Helen McNeil calls her in a fine introduction to the novel, but hard as nails) Eudora Welty shows an unexpected hatred. The ‘scored and grimy’ breadboard Laurel rescues as she prepares to leave the ‘desecrated’ family house for good is to Wanda Fay ...

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