The Enigmatic Christina Stead by Teresa Petersen

by
May 2001, no. 230
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The Enigmatic Christina Stead by Teresa Petersen

MUP, $29.95 pb, 263 pp

The Enigmatic Christina Stead by Teresa Petersen

by
May 2001, no. 230

Teresa Petersen’s study of Christina Stead’s fiction is littered with startling assertions about Stead’s sex life. Petersen suggests that Stead did not actually love her life partner, Bill Blake, in a sexual sense and that a yearning for fatherly love drove her forty-year relationship with him. She maintains that Stead struggled with her own lesbian desires throughout her life, and, unable to come to terms with her homosexuality, recreated herself in her fictional characters. While Petersen stops short of saying that Stead engaged in lesbian relationships, she contends that Stead’s novels are infused with lesbian eroticism in a displacement of Stead’s own desires onto her women characters. If Stead’s life with Bill was so happy, as Stead consistently maintained, why, Petersen asks, didn’t she portray positive heterosexual relationships between men and women?

Anne Pender reviews 'The Enigmatic Christina Stead' by Teresa Petersen

The Enigmatic Christina Stead

by Teresa Petersen

MUP, $29.95 pb, 263 pp

Buy this book

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