Kerstin W. Shands. The Repair of the World: The Novels of Marge Piercy. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. xii + 205 pp. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-313-29257-6.
Reviewed by Amy Kiste Nyberg (Seton Hall University)
Published on H-PCAACA (September, 1995)
In her analysis of Marge Piercy's twelve novels, published between 1969 and 1994, Shands suggests that all twelve are thematically related.
The novels explore what Shands describes as the battle between patriarchal impulses of separation and hierarchy and the matriarchal impulse of healing and connectedness. Shands argues that Piercy's work, taken as a whole, offers a "vision of a maternal principle as a potential savior of humankind and our world."
To support her conclusions, Shands draws on her own analytical reading of Piercy, on Piercy's own reflections about her writing, and on the ever-growing body of feminist literary criticism.
In some cases, the attempt to link all of Piercy's novels thematically is a stretch. Also, Shands' analysis would have been stronger if she had relied more on her own reading of the texts and less on the author's interpretation and commentary by other critics.
Still, this book will enhance the reader's understanding of Piercy and her place among contemporary women writers.
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Amy Kiste Nyberg. Review of Shands, Kerstin W., The Repair of the World: The Novels of Marge Piercy.
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