By Maureen Honey
The New Woman-an autonomous, nontraditional, often career-minded lady for whom marriage and kinfolk have been secondary-became a favored heroine in women’s journal fiction from the time of worldwide warfare I during the Nineteen Twenties. in this interval, American tradition entertained a brand new, feminist imaginative and prescient of gender roles that helped pave the way in which for contemporary pictures of ladies in public job. The tales during this assortment are drawn from the largest periodicals of the day-Ladies’ domestic magazine, Cosmopolitan, stable home tasks, Woman’s domestic better half, and McCall’s-as good because the African-American journal The situation. every one tale is rooted in a few size of up to date feminism and explores a subject matter of constant significance, equivalent to unity between ladies, the lives of ladies of colour and working-class ladies, sexual harassment, lesbian love, relations and marital bonds, and women’s relation to paid employment.
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Additional info for Breaking the Ties That Bind: Popular Stories of the New Woman, 1915-1930
This pattern held in women's magazine fiction until the middle of the second decade, when artist heroines found sympathetic men who admired and supported their art. This is the case in "The Lotus Eater" (1918), in which Mary learns to distinguish between false and true male support, rejecting a narcissistic dilettante for a mature man who "had a feeling for Mary's talent that was next door to reverence" and who adjusts his schedule to hers in order not to impose on her ''precious time" and chances for success.
Prohibition leader Hester McGlurk and newspaper columnist Belinda Buell are both instrumental in drumming up public support for Dean's candidacy, while Dean's nervous, homemaker mother merely wrings her hands and wishes her daughter would get married instead. Not only are McGlurk and Buell single, professional women with a toughness born of many years of public service, they reinforce for Dean the historic nature of her quest and the connection between her desire for personal challenge and her responsibility to women.
Of course this same public was buying novels and checking them out of the newly established lending libraries, but the cheapest, most accessible, and highest-quality fiction was to be found in mass market magazines. 13 The line between best-selling novels and periodical fiction was blurred by the editorial practice of negotiating with popular writers for rights to serialize their books before they were published. Edith Wharton, for example, sold The Age of Innocence, The Mother's Recompense, and The Children to Pictorial Review during the twenties, and Willa Cather originally published My Mortal Enemy in McCall's in 1926.