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In this interdisciplinary book, Livia examines a broad corpus of written texts in English and French, concentrating on those texts which problematize the traditional functioning of the linguistic gender system. They range from vels and prose poems to film scripts and personal testimonies, and in time from the nineteenth century to the present. Her goal is to show that rather than being a case of misguided envy, battles over gendered language are central to feminist concerns. This fresh and exciting scholarship will appeal to linguists and scholars in literary and gender studies.
Anna Livia is Visiting Assistant Professor of French at the University of California at Berkeley. She co-edited Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality (OUP, 1995).