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Annotated Bibliography, Helene Hanff

From Women in European History

1. Hanff, Helene. 84, Charing Cross Road. New York: Penguin, 1990.

2. Alwin, Duane F., Michael Braun, and Jacqueline Scott. “The Separation of Work and the Family: Attitudes towards Women's Labour-Force Participation in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.” European Sociological Review, Vol. 8, No. 1 (May, 1992): 13-37. http://www.jstor.org/stable/522315.

This comparative research discusses the general attitudes towards women's participation in the labour-force in three countries: West Germany, Great Britain and the United States. Alwin and co-authors claims that there is still apparent differences in social roles for both sexes in division of labor, and women’s participation in labor-force is limited by their marital status, education levels, and the presence of under-age children. This analysis explains how and why the views on career of Helene Hanff is striking different from those of her English friends.

3. Bielby, Denise D., and William T. Bielby. “Women and Men in Film: Gender Inequality among Writers in a Culture Industry.” Gender and Society, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Jun., 1996): 248-270. http://www.jstor.org/stable/189696.

This essay explores the gender inequality among writers in the film industry from 1920s to 1980s. It argues that screenwriting is essentially male-dominant, and women writers are typecast as only suited to produce films on 'feminine' themes. In this essay, Bielby gives a background on gender discrimination in show business in Helene Hanff’s time, which relates to Hanff’s struggle to become a screenwriter not because of a lack of talent, but of the impression of women’s inability to excel in the profession.

4. Forrey, Carolyn. “Gertrude Atherton & the New Woman.” California Historical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3 (Fall, 1976): 194-209. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25157640.

Forrey’s essay pays tribute to the late novelist, Gertrude Atherton, and discusses the impact of her works on the creation of “new women”. She claims that Atherton influenced many women with her avant-garde perspectives, and contributed to the emancipation of women in the early-twentieth century. With Atherton’s great number of followers, it is plausible that her view has reinvented the ideologies among American women in mid-twentieth century. This essay regenerates the atmosphere within the American female social circle, and provides an explanation to the seeming peculiarities for Helene Hanff to choose a tough life of work over a steady, married life.

5. Kimmel, Michael S. “Men’s Responses to Feminism at the Turn of the Century” Gender and Society, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Sept., 1987): 261-283. http://www.jstor.org/stable/189564.

Kimmel examines a variety of men’s responses to feminism (especially anti-feminism) in the early-twentieth century through masculinist texts, such as arguments by Social Darwinists and religious pamphlets, that addressed the rise of feminist movements in the United States. This essay specifically relates to the reaction of the dominant social group at the time when feminist ideas began to spread throughout America, and the western world. This point of view allows an extensive understanding of the society Helene Hanff lived in, which in effect helps to explain some of the treatments she received in the pursuit of her career.

6. Offen, Karen. "Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach." Signs, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Autumn 1988): 119-157. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3174664.

This academic journal explores the definition of feminism by tracing American history, European history and the history of feminism, particularly in the nineteenth century. Offen gives a detailed historical based explanation of feminism. This source applies to Helene Hanff because it provides a well-researched definition of the abstract notion of “feminism”, and substantiates feministic ideas expressed in Helene Hanff’s time.

Other Sources

7. Hanff, Helene. The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. Rhode Island: Moyer Bell, 1973.

8. Fox, Margalit. “Helene Hanff, Wry Epistler Of ’84, Charing,’ Dies at 80.” The New York Times, April 11, 1997. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/11/arts/helene-hanff-wry-epistler-of-84-charing-dies-at-80.html?pagewanted=1.

9. “Customer Reviews, 84, Charing Cross Road.” Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Charing-Cross-Road-Helene-Hanff/product-reviews/0140143505/ref=cm_cr_pr_link_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&pageNumber=2&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

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