The Home Plot
Women, Writing, and Domestic Ritual
In this finely crafted study, Ann Romines builds on twenty years of feminist scholarship to show how domestic ritual--the practice and tradition of housekeeping--has helped shape the substance and tone of some of the best fiction by American women. Examining works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Willa Cather, and Eudora Welty, Romines argues that one cannot fully appreciate this writing unless one understands the domestic codes in which it is inscribed.
By reading domestic ritual as a gendered language, Romines seeks to reclaim one of the oldest female traditions--housekeeping--from trivialization and devaluation. In the process, she brings fresh insight to the work of five important American novelists.