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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »


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Other titles in the Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest series:

Picturing a Different West: Vision, Illustration, and the Tradition of Cather and Austin (Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest)


Picturing a Different West: Vision, Illustration, and the Tradition of Cather and Austin (Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Picturing a Different West addresses Willa Cather and Mary Austin as central figures in a womens tradition of the pictured West. Both Cather and Austin moved west in their youth and spent much of their lives there. Cather lived on the Great Plains, while Austin resided in California and the Southwest. Cathers travels repeatedly took her to the Southwest, and she wrote three novels with Southwestern settings.Starting with the masculine tradition of Western art that was prevalent when Austin and Cather launched their careers, Janis P. Stout shows how the authors challenged and revised that tradition. Rather than a West of adventure, violence, and conquest, open only to rugged and daring men, the authors envisioned a new West—not conventionally feminine so much as an androgynous space of freedom for women and men alike. Their vision of an alternative West and their alternative ways of thinking about and portraying gender are inseparable.Placing Cather and Austin alongside contemporaries Elsie Clews Parsons, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Georgia OKeeffe, and Laura Gilpin, Stout emphasizes the visual nature of Austins and Cathers personal experiences of the West and Southwest, their awareness of the prevailing visual representations of the West, and the visual nature of their books about the West, with respect to both prose style and illustrations. In closing, Stout demonstrates the continuance of their tradition in illustrated western books by Leslie Marmon Silko and by Margaret Randall and Barbara Byers.

Book News Annotation:

Stout (English, Texas A&M U.) presents a study of the Western writings of Willa Cather and Mary Austin, discussing the two authors' sojourns to the American Southwest and the prevalent visual component in their works. Through biography and literary analysis, Stout shows how other writers and illustrators gendered the West male and describes the contrarily androgynous visualizations found in the novels of Cather and Austin. Illustrations found in their works, as well as others that influenced their vision of the West, are reproduced in b&w. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Stout, Janis P.
Texas Tech University Press
American - General
Women Authors
West (u.s.)
Illustration of books
Illustration of books -- United States.
Visual perception in literature.
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 1.7 in

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Picturing a Different West: Vision, Illustration, and the Tradition of Cather and Austin (Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest) New Hardcover
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