Undoing Difference?

Race and Gender in Selected Works by Toni Morrison and Jeanette Winterson

Literature offers unique opportunities to expose, question, and reimagine conventional notions of race and gender. On what textual clues do we as readers rely to determine whether a character is black or white, male or female? What happens to our conceptions of social interaction when these clues are ambiguous, as in Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif” and ‘Paradise’ or in Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Written on the Body’? How can we envision non-hierarchical racial identities in a profoundly racist society? How can we escape the confines of a heteronormative gender system? Do words on a page open up possibilities that do not yet exist in lived reality?
In ‘Undoing Difference’ the author deftly analyses how Morrison and Winterson grapple with these and other questions in their literary texts and beyond. Her engaging and original study explores how both authors work creatively to undo oppressive differences of race and gender.

Stefanie Mueller in: Anglia, Bd. 132 (2014), Heft 4, 847ff

Justyna Włodarczyk in: Polish Journal for American Studies, Vol. 7 (2013), 219ff