This book explores the concept of liminality in the representation of women in eighteenth and nineteenth century literature, as well as in contemporary rewritings, such as novels, films, television shows, videogames, and graphic novels. In particular, the volume focuses on vampires, prostitutes, quixotes, and detectives as examples of new women who inhabit the margins of society and populate its narratives. Therefore, it places together for the first time four important liminal identities, while it explores a relevant corpus that comprises four centuries and several countries. Its diachronic, transnational, and comparative approach emphasizes the representation across time and space of female sexuality, gender violence, and women’s rights, also employing a liminal stance in its literary analysis: facing the past in order to understand the present. By underlining the dialogue between past and present this monograph contributes to contemporary debates on the representation of women and the construction of femininity as opposed to hegemonic masculinity, for it exposes the line of thought that has brought us to the present moment, hence, challenging assumed stereotypes and narratives. In addition, by using popular narratives and media, the present work highlights the value of literature, films, or alternative forms of storytelling to understand how women’s place in society, their voice, and their presence have been and are still negotiated in spaces of visibility, agency, and power.

chapter 1|18 pages


Liminality, Feminocentric Narratives, and the Polytemporality of the New Woman

chapter 2|28 pages

Female Vampires

On the Threshold of Time, Space, and Gender

chapter 3|28 pages

Good and Bad, Private and Public

Prostitution as Liminal Identity

chapter 4|29 pages

Between Madness and Rebellion

Rewriting the Female Quixote

chapter 5|29 pages

To Be and Not to Be

Female Detectives between Old and New Women