Despite its fantasy overlay, The Vanishers is ultimately a deeply felt exploration of female exceptionalness
, both good and bad.
Smith answers this sort of racism with the simple truth of Indigeneity and the murkier reality of simulated Indianness as the imagined exceptionalness
of the United States: "We are the country, and the country is us" (35).
DESPITE AMERICA'S manifest exceptionalness
, "American exceptionalism" has become an increasingly contested concept.
While the notion of exceptionalness
sound change was a highly productive assumption for historical linguistics, it is by now generally accepted, Lass (1997) points out, that changes take time and may be lexically as well as socially conditioned.
Yet Dolan provides us little more than her assertion that Protestant writers were more misogynistic than Catholics; at the same time, the obvious exceptionalness
of Mary and the queen makes it difficult for us to envision what kind of "possibility" these two figures created for other women.