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More than a reader and less than a critic: literary authority and women`s book-discussion groups

Version 2 2024-06-16, 13:25
Version 1 2014-10-27, 16:25
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-16, 13:25 authored by F Devlin-Glass
The phenomenon of women reading books collaboratively is largely invisible, and certainly under-researched. This study, based on extensive circulation figures and on a small sample of members of four Council of Adult Education reading groups in metropolitan Melbourne, argues that such groups have a reading repertoire which is seriously middlebrow, far removed from the “wish-fulfillment” or “lazy reader” stereotypes purveyed by some who would scorn such groups. The study finds that such groups are sensitively served by the institution which hosts them. While such groups do not question the aesthetic assumptions that underlie their practice, they are combative with some manifestations of the literary establishment. Their powerful preferences for contemporary Australian women's fiction and their participation in global debates via identity politics suggests they warrant closer examination, both within Australian culture, and to find out if such groups have counterparts in other cultures.

History

Journal

Women's studies international forum

Volume

24

Pagination

571-585

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

0277-5395

eISSN

0148-0685

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2001, Elsevier Science Ltd

Issue

5

Publisher

Pergamon

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