|In contrast to the traditional frontiers
and pioneers focus of western studies, Maverick
looks at women writers who came not to but from the West.
Telling three larger-than-life stories,
Cathryn Halverson offers an alternative history of American women's
and a new view of western women's literature. Mary MacLane, Opal
and Juanita Harrison, she argues, rewrote frontier myths to make a
for themselves as female iconoclasts from the West. Creating an ardent
readership for western women's "naked" desires, they became
celebrity authors. After their intense early fame, though, they
disappeared. Halverson examines why, and brings their texts back to
through a richly textured weaving of biography, literary analysis, and
cultural history--in the process, urging us to reformulate our notions
of what it means to be a "western writer.".
Women Writers and
the American West, 1900-1936
by Cathryn Halverson
The University of
Wisconsin Press, 2004.