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Helen Hooven Santmyer: Criticism and Reviews

The Ohio State University Press has a review of Santmyer's novel Ohio Town and a review of The Fierce Dispute.

Additional criticism and review of Helen Hooven Santmyer's works can be found at your local public library.

The following reviews can be accessed online only by an individual who has a current library card through this address.

"Helen Hooven Santmyer: Overview."
Critic: Frank R. Levstik.
Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers, 3rd ed., edited by Aruna Vasudevan, St. James Press, 1994.

"While critics have found her writing overburdened by detail and not particularly sensitive to minority groups and issues, Helen Hooven Santmyer's historical fiction, nevertheless, evokes the small-town life of yesteryear in middle America. Given Santmyer's near century-long life span, her fiction contains significant elements of a semi-autobiographical nature. One cannot ignore her intellectual interests in history, literature, and the human condition or separate them from her community of Xenia, Ohio…"

"A review of ...And Ladies of the G.O.P."
Critic: Michael Malone.
The Nation, Vol. 239, No. 2, July 21-28, 1984, pp. 52-4

"Ladies (...And Ladies of the Club) is an earnest, intelligent, stolidly written, leaden-crafted, Sears, Roebuck catalogue of the lives of a great many earnest, stolid, well-off, white Protestant Republican citizens who reside in a small southwestern Ohio town and think its values the center and circumference of the moral universe…"

"The Other Side of Main Street."
Critic: Vance Bourjaily.
The New York Times Book Review, June 24, 1984, p. 7.

"In the spring of 1868, Abraham Lincoln was three years dead and not much talked about. The young men, home from the battlefields, hospitals and prisons of the Civil War, were getting started in life. The young women were waiting for them. ...And Ladies of the Club begins with the graduation of two such young women from the Waynesboro Female College in the small city in Ohio in which almost all of the events of this long novel take place…"

"The Goal of a Lifetime Won at Last."
Critic: Trudy Krishner.
Christian Science Monitor (27 January 1984): 19.

In her review, "Krishner gives a preview of ...And Ladies of the Club, noting its fortunate selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club and G. P. Putnam's Sons."

"The Time When Women Belonged."
Critic: Carolyn See.
Los Angeles Times Book Review (10 June 1984): 1.

"What we will be looking at here in a shamefully short review is a true literary curiosity, an artifact much more than a novel, a monument of words, a tool for the student of American history, a private compilation, a channeling of tremendous, idiosyncratic effort."

"Helen Hooven Santmyer: 'I Awoke One Morning and Found Myself Famous' (Lord Byron)."
Critic: Anne Barry.
Ohioana Quarterly 27 (autumn 1984): 88-9.

In her essay, "Barry describes the successful saga of ...And Ladies of the Club, emphasizing the Ohioana Award given to Santmyer in 1983."

"Review of ...And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer."
Critic: Robert F. Fleissner.
Source: CLA Journal 29 (June 1986): 486-89.

In his review, "Fleissner defends ...And Ladies of the Club against charges of racism."

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