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French women of letters responded to the call to help their nation during the Great War, producing a large collection of war centred writing including novels and short stories. While these authors were among the best known, most critically acclaimed, and prolific writers of their time, their names and works are largely forgotten. This study examines more than 40 of the novels and short stories published between 1914 and 1919, to analyze how the writers used fiction to voice their perception of the war's impact on women and their understanding of the personal and social transformations taking place as they wrote. Nancy Sloan Goldberg explains how the war affected the manner in which women writers constructed the meaning of gender for their women readers.
NANCY SLOAN GOLDBERG is Professor of French and Women's Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.