This is a book about writing and reading. For Patricia Duncker, the art of reading remains central to her writing, and in this wide-ranging collection of essays she draws together her most urgent themes and concerns. With an emphasis on reading and sexuality that echoes concerns of contemporary literary theory, Duncker engages in a critical dialogue with the classics that haunt her own work and offers a meditation on the complexity of sexual politics and the process of writing itself. Duncker takes on the classics of European literature - from the sexual politics of Milton, to an illuminating reading of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" as historical fiction. She also discusses contemporary women's writing, including Angela Carter's "queer gothic", nationalism and Caribbean women's writing and the politics of heterosexuality in the work of Margaret Atwood and Jenny Diski.
First published by Rivers Oram/Pandora Press, 2002