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Mary Austin
A Woman of Genius
New York: Doubleday
1912

Austin’s semi-autobiographical novel explores the conflict Olivia, a talented actress, faces in trying to reconcile her desire to have a career and her desire to marry. Olivia resists the conventional roles available to women; she imagines a new kind of marriage in which husband and wife might be equal partners. Austin’s feminist ideas were controversial in her time; “Genius, a force as irresistible as the tide,” the book jacket announces; “many people will not approve of the woman whose genius drives her into paths not desirable for women.” A Woman of Genius is believed by some critics to have been an early influence on Willa Cather and a possible model for her novel, The Song of the Lark (1915).

 

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Woman of Genius

 

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