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Sara ParetskyDetective fiction as trauma literature$
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Cynthia S. Hamilton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096952

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096952.001.0001

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Sexual politics and agency

Sexual politics and agency

(p.41) 2 Sexual politics and agency
Sara Paretsky

Cynthia S. Hamilton

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the gender politics of Paretsky’s fiction in relation to Paretsky’s own background and political activism and within the context of the political agendas and debates over identity politics within second and third wave feminism. Such positioning in relation to abortion, sexuality, and violence against women allows one to move beyond summary judgements and to appreciate the ambivalences felt by Paretsky and shared by many of her generation despite their firm commitment to the feminisms they helped to construct. It is also important to acknowledge the shifting agendas between second and third feminism and the challenges these posed for women who sought to claim, redefine or eschew the feminist label. Freidan, Millet, Faludi, Wolf, and Evans are among those referenced in connection with these debates. Between Indemnity Only (1982) and Body Work (2010) stands almost two decades of progress and backlash with regard to women’s rights and status, and almost two decades of tumultuous debate within an increasingly diverse and fractured landscape of minority politics.

Keywords:   Feminism, identity politics, second wave, third wave, abortion, violence, sexuality, Freidan, Faludi, Wolf

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