Dr. Laurel Smith is Professor of English and Honors Program Director at Vincennes University, Indiana. In 2004, she was named Scholar/Teacher of the Year by The Indiana College English Association. In addition to her teaching and scholarship on modern literature, Dr. Smith writes poetry; her poems have recently appeared in New Millennium Writings, North-Central Review, English Journal, JAMA and in the anthology, Visiting Frost (University of Iowa Press, 2005).2006 0-7734-5892-1
Modernism encompasses a range of technique, subject matter, and experimentation – some experiments successful, others near misses, but always worthy of attention. Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Katherine Mansfield, Willa Cather and Gertrude Stein represent five important points along that range. The purpose in starting with the first books by these authors establishes two arguments. First, these early works elucidate the later, more sophisticated work that follows. Second, the works from the beginning of each woman’s career enhance the understanding of modernism from the inside out; that is, close examination of five writing careers provides more insight into modernism than imposing a generic definition upon them. The purpose of this book is to demonstrate each of these writers has a coherent body of work rather than a successful series of works.