REPRESENTATIONS OF MURDEROUS WOMEN IN LITERATURE, THEATRE, FILM, AND TELEVISION Examining the Patriarchal Presuppositions Behind the Treatment of Murderesses in Fiction and Reality

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This collection examines the meaning, construction and deconstruction of the
murdering woman. These essays suggest that the ways in which gender, race, class and sexuality play into representations of women murderers is key to understanding the patriarchal underpinnings of our judicial system as they apply to women criminals.


“Scholars and the reading public will enjoy and profit by reading this important anthology.”
– Prof. Betty L. Mitchell, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

From the Foreword:
“This collection of essays is an excellent departure point that already takes us on a needed, although sometimes disturbing, journey.”
– Prof. Paula Ruth Gilbert, George Mason University

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. A “horrible lust for living blood”:
Supernatural Female Murderers in Nineteenth- Century Literature

Chapter 2. A Comparative Reading of Mona Caird’s The Wing of Azrael (1889)
and Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1892)

Chapter 3. She Hid it Well:
Female Serial Killers in American Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction

Chapter 4. Speculative Biographies:
Representing the Lives of Historical Murdering Women

Chapter 5. The Murdering Woman in a Chinese/Taiwanese Cultural Context

Chapter 6. The Bodies of Lizzie Borden

Chapter 7. Increasingly Monstrous Representation of Real Female Killers in American Cinema:
I Want To Live! (Robert Wise, 1958) and Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003)

Chapter 8. “Ki-ki-ki Ma-ma-ma”:
Maternal Virtue and Mrs. Voorhees

Chapter 9. Women on Death Row:
Documentary Film and the Cultural Politics of Identity

Chapter 10. Lethal Ladies:
The Stars of John Waters’ Female Trouble and Serial Mom

Chapter 11. The Birth of the Female Youth Rampage

Chapter 12. Women Who Kill:
Law & Order, Dexter & The Wire

Chapter 13. Killing a Husband:
Alice Arden and her Accomplices on the Early Modern Stage

Chapter 14. “There’s so much I want to tell her”:
Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal and the Transference of Femininity

Chapter 15. Sheila's Deposition, 1997

Chapter 16. Another Day in Court:
Women Playwrights

Chapter 17. The Murdering Mother in Marina Carr’s Plays

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