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Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell

Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Expanding critical awareness of a feminist writer's neglected accomplishments. This collection of plays, fiction, and journalistic essays provides an engaging portrait of one of America's most innovative yet neglected feminists. "Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell" is the first critical compilation of her prose and drama and highlights her most significant but formerly unavailable works. Editors Jerry Dickey and Miriam Lopez-Rodriguez place Treadwell within the context of the early twentieth century and outline four themes that infused her feminist ideology: the social position of women, ethnic identity in the United States, tensions between modern progressivism and conservatism, and the individual's role in social justice. Treadwell's critical reputation as a dramatist is based largely on the success of the 1928 expressionist drama "Machinal", but little is known about her other dramas, much less her fiction and journalism.

Drawing largely on unpublished manuscripts, this volume documents the breadth of Treadwell's work, from an investigative newspaper serial written in 1914 to selections from an autobiographical novel completed during World War II, which chronicled her development as a feminist. In the introduction, Dickey and Lopez-Rodriguez present a detailed picture of Treadwell's sensational but critically neglected journalistic career, from her 1915 serial on social welfare for prostitutes in San Francisco to her 1921 groundbreaking story on the Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa. They also outline the personal and social factors that helped shape Treadwell's feminist ideals. Dickey and Lopez-Rodriguez assess Treadwell's playwriting aesthetic and establish a critical context for three of her plays - "Clarence Darrow", "The Eye of the Beholder", and "Ladies Leave" - published in this volume for the first time. They also detail Treadwell's novel "Hope for a Harvest", which addressed prejudice against foreigners, immigrants, and Mexican Americans, long before Chicano literature became popular.

Jerry Dickey, an associate professor and head of the theatre studies division in the School of Theatre Arts at the University of Arizona, is the author of Sophie Treadwell: A Research and Production Sourcebook. He has published numerous journal essays and chapters on Treadwell and has served as past president of the theatre history focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and on the Executive Board of the American Theatre and Drama Society. Miriam Lopez-Rodriguez, a former Fulbright scholar who studied the Sophie Treadwell Papers at the University of Arizona, teaches in the Department of English at the University of Malaga, Spain. She co-edited Staging a Cultural Paradigm: The Political and the Personal in American Drama and Women's Contribution to Nineteenth-Century American Drama. She is a member of a University of Malaga research group and co-organizer of the international conferences on American theatre.

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