An Angle of Vision

Women Writers on Their Poor and Working-Class Roots
Edited by Lorraine M. López

Uncommon perspectives by prominent women writers on class, money, family, and home


An Angle of Vision is a compelling anthology that collects personal essays and memoir by a diverse group of gifted authors united by their poor or working-class roots in America. The contributors include Dorothy Allison, Joy Castro, Lisa D. Chavez, Mary Childers, Sandra Cisneros, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Teresa Dovalpage, Maureen Gibbon, Dwonna Goldstone, Joy Harjo, Lorraine M. López, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Amelia Maria de la Luz Montes, Bich Minh Nguyen, Judy Owens, Lynn Pruett, Heather Sellers, and Angela Threatt.

In a sense, these stories are the travel narratives of women who have journeyed beyond their family circumstances to cross class borders, aided by educational opportunities that encouraged their literary gifts to blossom. Many of the essays reflect on the immigrant experience and struggles against the multiplying factors of poverty, gender, and ethnicity. Some authors recount their first moment of class awareness (Bich Minh Nguyen's occurred while watching Laverne and Shirley on the family's first television). Still others describe encounters in the relatively privileged world of higher education—where the subject of class is evident but mostly off-limits. Throughout An Angle of Vision the authors describe delicate balances of work and family, men and money, motherhood and sexuality. Each author reflects on the experiences that provided an opportunity to develop her own distinct identity and her own particular "angle of vision."

Photo © Alex Majoli, Magnum Photos.

Editor Lorraine M. López is the prize-winning author of two novels, The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters and Call Me Henri, and a short-story collection, Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories. A new collection, Homicide Survivors Picnic, is forthcoming. She is Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and Associate Editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review. López is one of five nominees for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for a collection of her short stories.

Praise / Awards

  • "An award-winning fiction writer, Lopez has compiled memoirs from 18 female writers who share a common bond: their working class roots...They tell their stories in order to connect with women who share similar struggles and also to serve as examples for those who seek change...A useful resource for those interested in women's studies or working-class literature."
    —A. C. Rosati, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

  • "Accessible, engaging, and honest . . . the experiences that the writers depict are enthralling."
    Working-Class Notes, the Newsletter of the Working-Class Studies Association

Look Inside

Copyright © 2009, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

News, Reviews, Interviews

Listen: UMP Author Podcast Series: Lorraine López | MP3 | 12/14/2009

Read: Interview with Lorraine Lopez Times Daily | 2/17/2010

Read: Review | 01/06/2010

Read: Q&A with Lorraine López | PDF | 12/14/2009

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 216pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07078-7

Add to Cart
  • $79.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05078-9

Add to Cart
  • $25.95 U.S.



  • Lower class, working class, women, women writers, feminization of poverty, underprivileged backgrounds, class, gender, authorship