Digging up roots in "Gardens of Eden": Michelene Wandor's feminist midrash

Lisa Renee Kenyon, University of Rhode Island


Michelene Wandor is best known for her critical writings on gender in the British theatre, but Wandor is also the author of short stories, plays, and two collections of poetry, and her creative works reiterate and reinforce many of the issues and themes present in her theatrical criticism. It is unfortunate that Wandor's poetry is generally overlooked, for the poems, particularly Gardens of Eden, mirror her growth as a writer and as a feminist, explore the role of feminism in her creative process, and reveal the connections between her art and her political beliefs. Michelene Wandor's poems are representative not only of her own interests in gender, but of women's poetry of the period during which these poems were written, and they are an important example of the growing number of Biblical reinterpretations by women. ^ Gardens of Eden is an important text on a variety of levels. It not only represents the difficulties faced by many female poets writing in Britain since the 1960s, especially those who became part of the feminist movement, but also explores some of the aspects of Biblical interpretations which are bringing many new scholars to the study of the Old Testament. It also reflects the feelings of many contemporary women who are at odds not only with traditional interpretations of female characters, but with the ways in which these interpretations support outmoded and archaic ideas about women. As part of an ongoing movement in Biblical interpretation, Gardens of Eden is as important now as it was when it was written. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Modern|Religion, Biblical Studies|Women's Studies|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Lisa Renee Kenyon, "Digging up roots in "Gardens of Eden": Michelene Wandor's feminist midrash" (2002). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3077996.