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If the author is 'dead', if feminism is 'post-', why does the figure of the woman author keep appearing as a central character in contemporary fiction? She is concerned with ownership but, equally, with loss; determined to enter the cultural field but also rejecting that field; looking for control but subject to duplicity; seeking power alongside desire. Drawing on a diverse range of contemporary authors - including Atwood, Byatt, Brookner, Coetzee, Lurie, LeGuin, Michele Roberts, Shields, Spark, Weldon, Walker - this study explores the complexity and continuing fascination of this figure.
MARY EAGLETON is Professor in Contemporary Women's Writing at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.