My brief review of the historical production of working-class literature highlights the fact that the self-expression of working-class lives is a relatively recent phenomenon: the late 1800s, the 1930s, the 1950s and 60s, and the 1980s were notable periods for the resurgence of working-class literature.
These periods apparently correspond with the developing and fluctuating fortunes of capitalism, and is in consonance with the notion that working-class literature comes about as a reaction to events and as a shared experience - such as periods of acute unemployment and poverty.
In talking about working-class literature, critics have invariably drawn upon and exemplified working-class literature by men, which is invariably about men - their jobs, their money or lack of it, and their sexual relations with women. Indeed, in the course of my studies, it was not until the 1980s that reference was made to noteworthy working-class women writers; which led me to wonder why working-class women’s fiction has been absent for so long?
So, where have they all been?
Where are the working-class women writers ?