Review by Choice Review
In recent years, the academic world has seen an explosion of interest in Glaspell--e.g., Martha Carpentier's The Major Novels of Susan Glaspell (CH, Feb'02), Barbara Ozieblo's Susan Glaspell: A Critical Biography (CH, Mar'01), Susan Glaspell: Essays on Her Theater and Fiction, ed. by Linda Ben-Zvi (CH, Jan'96). Gainor (Cornell Univ.) adds to the rapidly growing body of work in her illuminating new study by offering the first truly comprehensive examination of Glaspell's less-known dramatic works. Focusing on several plays in addition to Glaspell's widely anthologized Trifles, Gainor resists the tendency to view the playwright exclusively through the feminist lens that often draws readers to her work. Instead, she contextualizes each play, as her title indicates, by considering the historical, social, literary, political, and theatrical factors influencing Glaspell's vision. The result is a rich and beautifully written study that is sure to spark further interest in Glaspell's artistry. With its meticulously researched analysis of such plays as Suppressed Desires, Bernice, The Verge, and Springs Eternal, this title makes an outstanding contribution to Glaspell studies and the history of American theater. The volume also features a meticulously prepared index and a rich photo gallery. Highly recommended for all academic libraries. D. D. Knight SUNY College at Cortland
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.