By Christopher Looby
"Perhaps it's no accident that the 19th century—the century while, it's been stated, sexuality as such (and numerous taxonomized sexual identities) have been invented—is the interval whilst American brief tales have been invented, and once they have been the queerest."—Christopher Looby, from the Introduction
A guy in small-town the US wears the garments of his spouse and sisters; chuffed eventually that he has "a excellent go well with of clothes acceptable for my sex," he commits suicide, asking in basic terms that he be buried dressed as a lady. a rustic maid has a passionate summer season dating with an heiress, the reminiscence of which sustains her for the subsequent 40 years. a woman is carried by way of a powerful wind to a spot the place she discovers that every thing is made up of sweet, together with the "queer people," whom she licks and eats. If those will not be the categories of reports we think to discover in nineteenth-century American literature, it's probably simply because we have now been taking a look within the fallacious places.
The tales accumulated listed here are written through a various collection of writers—women and males, vague and recognized: Herman Melville, Willa Cather, and Louisa could Alcott, between others. Exploring the vagaries of gender identification, erotic wish, and affectional attachments that don't map simply onto current different types of intercourse and gender, they have fun, mourn, and query the various modes of embodiment and forgotten sorts of excitement of nineteenth-century America.
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