Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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Laura Esquivel, Mexican, Joanne Harris, British, Fannie Flagg, American, and Isak Dinesen, Danish, are women writers who have written contemporary world popular fiction: Like Water for Chocolate, Chocolate, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and the short story ?Babette?s Feast?. Out of their desire to reflect their female identity, these women writers of four different nationalities have concertedly rejected the long-running male literary tradition, in which male characters rule and dominate and, in turn, have created a female literary tradition in which their female characters not only assert a solid and secure place in the world but also are allowed to display their female strength, resourcefulness and dominance. These contemporary women writers have brought about significant changes in contemporary fiction in which they terminate literary stereotypes and discard traditional female roles and ?untrue? images imposed on women. These women authors reduce the male role, ridicule male characters and reverse male authority. While lessening the male role, they increase the female role, make female characters the focus of their works, and reverse former traditional practice by portraying male characters as marginal, subordinate or complementary to female interests and desires. Besides, rather than penalizing ?bad girls? these authors reward ?bad girls? and in some cases allow them to prevail in the end. The women writers, furthermore, step over the boundary into the domain of art and create female characters who take the role of accomplished artists. Theme-wise these authors determinedly deal with such distinctive feminine concerns as food, cooking, and nurturing, traditionally treated as trivial and unimportant, by drawing attention to their universal significance and elevating them to serious literary subject matter.

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