Working-Class Women’s Literature: An Introduction to Study

Paul Lauter


Writing ‒ and indeed thinking ‒ about working-class literature presents a number of unique problems. To begin with, what do we mean by “working-class literature”? Literature about working-class people, literature by them, or literature addressed to them? If we use the first definition, should we include works that are ignorant of or hostile to the working-class people they write about like some turn of-the-century “industrial” novels? If we focus on writing by working people, do we include pieces that do not deal with their lives or even with their real concerns, like some “popular” songs? Should we include, say, literature by people of working-class origins, like D. H. Lawrence?

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ISSN 1941-0832 (online)