Plays by Women About Women Play Writers: How Women Create Myths About Themselves

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This study explores the process of mythmaking in plays written by women. By writing the lives of female writers and rewriting the literary characters, which have been created by male writers, women playwrights assume the role of a mythmaker. This study evaluates the constantly developing process of women’s mythmaking/mythbreaking in Liz Lochhead’s Blood and Ice, Rose Leiman Goldemberg’s Letters Home, Bilgesu Erenus’ Halide, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale, Bryony Lavery’s Ophelia, and Zeynep Avc?’s Gilgamesh.


“Özbirinci’s book introduces an interesting dimension to the discussion of feminist contributions to archetypal theory in that her choice of plays has allowed her to view from the same perspective the ‘her/stories’ of both Christian and Muslim women writers as well as myths and stories produced in the Western world and the Middle East. It is within this broadened scope of enquiry that the author traces the recurrent patterns that may lead to female mythmaking. Her focus on drama, on the other hand, enables her to dwell on some of the techniques adopted by playwrights in the process of developing methods for feminist drama. Finally, her study involves, for the first time in English, the work of two prominent Turkish female literary figures, Bilgesu Erenus and Zeynep Avc? in the discussion of feminist methodology.” – Prof. Ay?egül Yüksel, Ankara University

“Overall, this comprehensive work brings a stimulating approach to the study of mythmaking in women’s literature. It aims to reveal and construct the myths of women through finding the repeated patterns in the works of women writers.” – Dr. Defne Ersin-Tutan, Ba?kent University

“This study brings an awareness that reminds all women to reclaim the power to name their experiences and to revision women’s identity in order to break the patriarchal perspective of how a woman should be. The work provides extensive scholarship in its argument and inspects how the experiences of women and the patterns in their texts parallel each other across cultures.” – Prof. Meral Çileli, Middle East Technical University

"... well reasoned and extremely insightful." -- Autumn Shiley

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. Dr. Ay?egül Yüksel
1. Mythmaking: Definitions and Meanings
2. Plays by Women on Female Writers Liz Lochhead’s Blood and Ice
Rose Leiman Goldemberg’s Letters Home
Bilgesu Erenus’ Halide
3. Plays by Women on Literary Characters
Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale
Bryony Lavery’s Ophelia
Zeynep Avc?’s Gilgamesh
4. Conclusion
Works Cited

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