Brenda Bowman at Dinner with Judy Chicago: Feminism and Needlework in Carol Shields's <em>A Fairly Conventional Woman</em>

  • Wendy Roy University of Saskatchewan, has previously published essays on fiction by Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, and Carol Shields, and a book on women's travel writing in Canada, Maps of Difference: Canada, Women, and Travel.

Abstract

Like Judy Chicago's 1979 installation The Dinner Party, Carol Shields's 1982 novel A Fairly Conventional Woman has been criticized as too middle class, too domestic, and not truly feminist. This paper argues, in contrast, that like Chicago's installation, Shields's novel broke ground by exploring gendered aspects of the arts-crafts divide and the role of domestic activities such as quilting as impetuses for social change. Résumé Comme dans l'installation de Judy Chicago The Dinner Party en 1979, le roman de Carol Shields A Fairly Conventional Woman en 1982 a été critiquée en tant que trop classe moyenne, trop domestique et pas suffisamment féministe. Cet article discute, en contraste, que tout comme dans l'installation de Chicago, le roman de Shields fut révolutionnaire en explorant les aspects de la différences entre les sexes de la division des arts et de l'artisanat, et du rôle des activités domestiques telles que le ouatage comme des élans pour le changement social.
Published
2008-01-01
Section
Original Research