At Home in the World: Women Writers and Public Life, from Austen to the Present

A bold literary history that says women’s writing is defined less by domestic concerns than by an engagement with public life


Jun 18, 2019
6.13 x 9.25 in.
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In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women’s writing, At Home in the World argues that this work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord show that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life. Exploring works by a wide range of writers, including canonical, neglected, and contemporary figures, this compelling and concise literary history uncovers the public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award in Literature, Association of American Publishers
  • Shortlisted for the 2018 Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa Society