Women's Words is the first collection of writings devoted exclusively to exploring the theoretical, methodological, and practical problems that arise when women utilize oral history as a tool of feminist scholarship. In thirteen multi-disciplin ary esays, the book takes stock of the implicit presuppositions , contradictions, and prospects of oral history at the hands of feminist scholars.
These 13 essays will be of most immediate interest to academics and others who collect and work with oral histories. However, those who are willing to give pk the pieces alternative readings (for example, considering the interview as a text and the interviewer as reader of that text) may find pk them intriguing as expressions of current feminist research and interpretive methodologies. Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis maintains that the speech patterns of an interviewee provide information about her life and pk opinions, and that accepting white female experience as a norm ``establishes an elitism within the heart of much feminist research.'' Sondra Hale records her confusion as she discovers that her own politically correct stance as an interviewer in the Sudan doesn't guarantee that her subjects won't try to manipulate her for their own ends. And in an effective piece on the ethics of researching Third World women, Patai suggests that despite feminists' ``sisterly posture of mutual learning,'' their research can reproduce the inequalities it seeks to expose. Gluck is the author of From Parlor to Prison ; Patai wrote The Orwell Mystique: A Study in Male Ideology. (June)