Female Authorship in Modern Fiction:

Stevie Smith’s Novel on Yellow Paper (1936) and the History of Fictional Women Writers

  • Ingo Berensmeyer University of Munich


This article reads Stevie Smith’s Novel on Yellow Paper in the context of modernist literary authorship and against the historical background of scenarios of female authorship in British fiction. It focuses on strategies of women’s writing as embodied in Smith’s protagonist, Pompey Casmilus. In a period in which the category of “woman writer” was firmly associated with middlebrow sentimentality, Smith explores formal and material constraints on women as authors of fiction. In its diagnosis of the publishing world, the segregation of readerly tastes, and the constraints of established generic forms, Novel on Yellow Paper confronts the modern(ist) predicament of female authorship in novel ways.

Author Biography

Ingo Berensmeyer, University of Munich

Ingo Berensmeyer is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Munich (LMU). He is currently working on a short media history of literature from prehistory to the present, a book on literary representations of authorship since the eighteenth century, and a database and quantitative study of British women writers active between 1945 and 1960.

How to Cite
Berensmeyer, I. (2021). Female Authorship in Modern Fiction: . Authorship, 9(1). Retrieved from https://www.authorship.ugent.be/article/view/17719