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LeFanu, Sarah

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1953-    ) Scottish academic long in England whose Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind (anth 1985), edited with Jen Green (1954-    ), provided a forum for Women SF Writers. The Feminism illustrated in that book could serve readers as a backdrop for In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction (1988; vt Feminism and Science Fiction 1989), her solid nonfiction analysis of the work of several contemporary sf writers, most notably Suzy McKee Charnas, Ursula K Le Guin, Joanna Russ and James Tiptree Jr, the UK title being a quote from the latter's "The Women Men Don't See" (December 1973 F&SF). Through readings of some acuteness, LeFanu argues that Genre SF has provided a conceptual opportunity for women writers to speak in their own autonomous voices, unimprisoned by the patriarchal modes dominant in more "normal" literatures. Writing Fantasy Fiction (1996) is an untaxing but clear nonfiction guide; Rose Macaulay (2003) (see Rose Macaulay) analyses her work as well as her full life. [JC]

Sarah Antoinette LeFanu

born Aberdeen, Scotland: 6 August 1953

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