By Anne Boyd Rioux

Anne Boyd Rioux is a professor at the University of New Orleans and the author of Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and a collection of Woolson’s fiction, Miss Grief and Other Stories, both available from W. W. Norton. She offers a monthly profile of a forgotten woman writer in her newsletter The Bluestocking Bulletin.

  1. While Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935) is often discussed alongside other Louisiana writers such as Kate Chopin and George Washington Cable, she is not nearly as well known today as they are.

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  2. Constance Fenimore Woolson was respected by critics of her day and viewed as a successor to George Eliot and a peer of James and William Dean Howells. In the years since her death, Woolson has become known as a tragic heroine in a story not of her own making, rather than what she really was: a marvelous maker of stories herself.

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  3. Of all of the genres women have written in, the female Bildungsroman is one of the most important -- for it often grows out of the author’s own lived experiences, providing a map to where women’s lives have been, and where they are going.

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