Added: April 30, 2005 – Last updated: August 1, 2015


Author: Pamela E. Barnett

Title: Dangerous Desire

Subtitle: Literature of Sexual Freedom and Sexual Violence since the Sixties

Place: London and New York

Publisher: Routledge

Year: 2004

Pages: xxxvi + 182pp.

ISBN-10: 0415970490 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0415970504 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Representations: Literature / James Dickey, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker; Society: Women's Movement


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Author: Pamela E. Barnett, College of Arts & Sciences, Trinity Washington University


  Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  Introduction (p. xi)
  Chapter 1   Desire and Domination: Eldridge Cleaver and the Racial-Sexual Politics of the Sixties (p. 1)
  Chapter 2   James Dickey's Deliverance: Suburban White Male Nightmare or Dream Come True? (p. 33)
  Chapter 3   "The Recurring Dream": Utopian Politics and Sexual Violence in Alice Walker's Meridian (p. 61)
  Chapter 4   "The Anatomical Fiat": Rape and Gendering in Early Second-Wave Feminist Discource (p. 91)
  Chapter 5   "Lesbians are not Women": Rape as "Compulsory Heterosexuality" in The Women of Brewster Place (p. 123)
  Chapter 6   Just How Far From Heaven? (p. 147)
  Notes (p. 153)
  Bibliography (p. 169)
  Index (p. 179)

Description: »Dangerous Desire is an important work that calls attention to how post-1960s literary representations of rape have shaped the ways in which both sexual and social freedoms are imagined in American culture. Exploring key post-sixties texts including Cleaver's Soul on Ice, Brownmiller's Against Our Will, French's The Women's Room, Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place, Walker's Meridian, and Dickey's Deliverance, Barnett finds that the widespread literary explorations of rape were almost always conjoined with one or more of the radical social movements of the sixties: civil rights, black nationalism, women's liberation and black feminism. Sexual violence emerges in these texts when the transformative possibilities articulated by sixties-era liberation movements trigger and intensify imbalances of power and cultural difference-for example, Eldridge Cleaver's claim that he lashed out against the white power structure by raping white women.
   This book should be of considerable interest to students and scholars of 20th century American literature, as well as American Studies and African American Studies scholars interested broadly in issues of sexuality, race, and violence.« (Source: Routledge)


Anonymous. Forum for Modern Language Studies 42(1) (January 2006): 93. – Full Text: Oxford Journals (Restricted Access)

King, Neal. Gender & Society 19(6) (December 2005): 862-864. – Full Text: SAGE Journals (Restricted Access)

McCoy, Beth A. Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society 10(1) (February 2007): 123-124. – Full Text: SAGE Journals (Restricted Access)

Wikipedia: James Dickey: Deliverance; Gloria Naylor: The Women of Brewster Place (novel); Alice Walker: Meridian