ByAnne 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.

  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.

  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.