Women Characters in Baseball Literature

A Critical Study


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About the Book

Since the early 20th century, American writers have both recorded and fictionalized the real-life activities of great athletes, as well as created original characters for sports stories. How have women fared in this literature?
Women Characters in Baseball Literature is the first comprehensive evaluation of the women characters of baseball literature, including women’s crucial roles on and off the field of play. Applying several feminist theories and examining the works in the context of both myth and psychology, the author discusses baseball fiction written by both men and women. Among the topics discussed are the literary implications of motherhood; how patterns of behavior in women characters often recall Greek goddesses; and how women characters and the feminist imagination enrich the literature of this apparently masculinized sport. Authors covered include Bernard Malamud, Mark Harris, August Wilson, Lamar Herrin, Nancy Willard, Silvia Tennenbaum, Karen Joy Fowler, and others.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen Sullivan is a lecturer at Richland College in Dallas, Texas. She also directs the honors program, honors study abroad, Phi Theta Kappa IHC courses, and learning communities at the college.

Bibliographic Details

Kathleen Sullivan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2170-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8439-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Introduction: Taken Out of the Ballgame      3

One: Mount Olympus in the Majors.      13

Two: Gods and Goddesses at the Plate      29

Three: Absent Mothers and Mothering Men      57

Four: Substitute Mothering in The Southpaw and She’s on First      91

Five: The Transformational Goddesses      115

Six: The Compound Goddesses      149

Chapter Notes      175

Bibliography      181

Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“Ms. [Kathleen Sullivan] Porter has read and absorbed many “baseball novels” of whose existence I had not known—I had thought I knew them all—merging her considerable literary insight with the methods of fiction and the critiques of scholarship. It seems to me, indeed, that she has brought to a fine new level those literary arts related to baseball.”—Mark Harris, author The Southpaw, Bang the Drum Slowly and other novels