This wide-ranging study provides a historically grounded account of women's fiction in the 1960s and the 1970s, relating changes in the social structure of Britain and the United States to the literary representations of women's experience. Maroula Joannou recounts a time of innovation, hope and change in the history of literature and the history of women. She analyzes the literary impact of the women's movement in Britain and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, on books as diverse as Angela Carter's modern fairy tales and Ursula Le Guin's science fiction. Topics include femininity, sexuality, working-class women's writing, motherhood, continuities and change in the literary tradition, the feminist confessional novel, experiments in science and detective fiction, narratives engaging with the end of the British Empire and black women's writing in the United States. This contribution to literary history provides readings of A. S. Byatt, Pat Barker, Anita Brookner, Margaret Drabble, Doris Lessing, Erica Jong, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Marge Piercy, Jean Rhys, Joanna Russ, Alice Walker, Fay Weldon and others.