A Woman of Genius
Afterword by Nancy Porter
First published in 1912, this novel draws its inspiration directly from Austin's own life and experiences as a talented woman—in the novel, an actress—whose pursuit of a career places her in conflict with the values of a midwestern town. The hero's decision to leave a dull husband to pursue a career, and her rise to fame, are portrayed against the background of the cramping social order of the time.
"Mrs. Austin tells the story brilliantly with a rich, deep knowledge of human nature, and with an individuality in her way of looking at things that affords many a delightful surprise. Her imagination runs on swift, dramatic feet, and ennobles her style every now and then with a seeress-like touch, to which her large outlook upon life and her concern with its deepest meanings give sanction."
“A Woman of Genius . . . says no to men and conventional marriage and yes to living and productive work. Far from simply promoting female self-determination, however, or celebrating the romantic right of genius to overrun all obstacles, including the human ones, the novel articulates the conflicts of a transitional generation of women who relinquished the perquisites of protected, genteel womanhood for the rewards and responsibilities of the pursuit of public achievement and service to the community. . . . A Woman of Genius is, like Austin herself, an overlooked classic of feminism. Olivia Lattimore occupies a pivotal position in the long procession of gifted women in literature.”
Also Of Interest
- Fettered for Life
- Lillie Devereux Blake