Cover image for Kaye Gibbons : a critical companion
Kaye Gibbons : a critical companion
DeMarr, Mary Jean, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xi, 156 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


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PS3557.I13917 Z68 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Born to a tobacco farmer in rural North Carolina, Kaye Gibbons found her literary voice by speaking through the strong southern women who inhabit her novels. While concentrating on the places and people she knows well, Gibbons has managed to speak for people who struggle to find their own place, wherever they are, and her books have reached a worldwide audience. Whether for students assigned to read Ellen Foster or for lovers of literature, this companion--the first and only book-length study of its kind--provides insights and interpretations that will help readers enjoy and better appreciate the novels of Kaye Gibbons.

Beginning with a biographical chapter, this companion shows how Gibbons's own life came to shape her fiction. Her place in and contributions to the genre of the southern novel are considered, and readers are taken through each of her six novels, starting with the highly acclaimed Ellen Foster (1987) and concluding with On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon (1998). For each work, lucid analyses of plot, character development, theme, and style are provided, along with an alternate critical perspective. The select bibliography includes reviews and further information on biographical and critical sources.

Author Notes

MARY JEAN DEMARR is Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Indiana State University. She is the author of two previous Critical Companions, Barbara Kingsolver (1999) and Colleen McCullough (1996). She is also co-author of The Adolescent in the American Novel Since 1960 .

Table of Contents

Kathleen Gregory Klein
Series Forewordp. ix
1. Kaye Gibbons: Life and Worksp. 1
2. Genres and Patternsp. 11
3. Ellen Foster (1987)p. 27
4. A Virtuous Woman (1989)p. 51
5. A Cure for Dreams (1991)p. 71
6. Charms for the Easy Life (1993)p. 89
7. Sights Unseen (1995)p. 107
8. On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon (1998)p. 127
Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 153