Creative Essay: A Brief Commentary on Health and Happiness, a short story by Virginia de Forrest from Godey's Lady's Book, November, 1855, pp. 399-401

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Susan Koppelman

Keywords

women's studies, Virginia de Forrest, Godey's Lady's Book

Abstract

I have been unearthing and reading short stories written by women in the United States or in Territories that later became States since November 1972.  I have been thinking about all these stories I have read and trying to think beyond my delight in them to understand what, as a body of literature, characterizes them – if anything.  I did not undertake this quest with a notion of what I would find other than my belief that the stories existed and could be found. I believed that if I looked imaginatively enough I would find them.  I believed (and feel that the belief is more than justified) that whatever there is to write about, women have written about.  I did not presume to predict what themes and issues, which relationships and challenges I would discover to be dominant in U.S. women’s short stories.  I didn’t presume that there would be dominant themes or issues or relationships or challenges.  I knew I would find stories but I didn’t know what I would find out about the stories.

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