"Modern American Women Writers" is a rich examination of how the lives of thirty-two of America's leading writers shaped the literature they produced. The essays in this book are by the best scholars in the field of women's studies and combine illuminating biographical detail with thoughtful discussions of each author's work. Based on the acclaimed hardcover, this concise edition of "Modern American Women Writers" is a unique look at a century of women's contributions to the American literary tradition. As the distinguished feminist critic Elaine Showalter says in the introduction, "Women have revised the fundamental themes and conventions of American literature, including its myths of individuality, community, language, and the frontier. Feminine imagination and feminine energy are part of our cultural heritage, and any history of American literature that excludes women's contribution cannot be complete.