ABSTRACT. The following paper presents a comprehensive overview of New Orleans in the novels of John Gregory Brown: Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery (1994), The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur (1996), and Audubon’s Watch (2001). Taking as a starting point earlier scholarship which suggests that New Orleans should be seen as a “feminine” city (Eckstein, 2006; Codrescu, 2006; Harris and Robinson, 2015), as well as the ongoing dialectic between materiality and literary representation, I will contend that New Orleans in Brown’s work is construed as a gendered subject, actively influencing his characters. Examining gender in relation to race and class, I will discuss how Brown’s characters experience the city’s contradictions, and how they often seem to embody its intriguing complexities. Ultimately, the aim of this paper is to discover if Brown’s notion of the feminine city has anything new to offer both to current gender theorization and to contemporary Southern writing.

Keywords: femininity; contemporary Southern fiction; New Orleans; John Gregory Brown

How to cite: Michailidou, Artemis (2017). “Feminine Cities: New Orleans in the Work of John Gregory Brown,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 7(2): 11–26.

Received 7 November 2016 • Received in revised form 16 June 2017
Accepted 17 June 2017 • Available online 10 July 2017


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Ph.D., The University of Exeter;
Hellenic Military Academy

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