Women and Work in World War II
Paper 251 pp.
Online discount: 25%
Working Memory: Women and Work in World War II speaks to the
work women did during the war: the labour of survival, resistance,
and collaboration, and the labour of recording, representing, and
memorializing these wartime experiences. The contributors follow their
subjects’ tracks and deepen our understanding of the experiences
from the imprints left behind. These efforts are a part of the making
of history, and when the process is as personal as many of our contributors’
research has been, it is also the working of memory. The implication
here is that memory is intimate, and that the layering of narrative
fragments that recovery involves brings us in touching distance to
These are not the stories of the brave little woman at home; they are stories of the woman who calculated the main chance and took up with the Nazi soldier, or who eagerly dropped the apron at the door and picked up a paintbrush, or who brazenly bargained for her life and her mother’s with the most feared of tyrants. These are stories of courage and sometimes of compromise— not the courage of bravado and hype and big guns, but rather the courage of hard choices and sacrifices that make sense of the life given, even when that life seems only madness. Working Memory brings scholarly attention to the roles of women in World War II that have been hidden, masked, undervalued, or forgotten.
Marlene Kadar is an associate professor in humanities and women’s studies at York University, and the former director of the graduate programme in interdisciplinary studies.
Jeanne Perreault is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary and is the author of Writing Selves: Contemporary Feminist Autography.
By the same author
Tracing the Autobiographical, Marlene Kadar and Susanna Egan; Linda Warley and Jeanne Perreault, editors
Haven’t Any News: Ruby’s Letters from the Fifties, Edna Staebler and Marlene Kadar