I really love Mary Russo’s The Female Grotesque. Often I dislike the intrusion of personal, private life into theory and critical discussions, but she does it so well that it adds rather than distracts. For example:
It is a feature of my own history and education that in contemplating these dangers, I grew to admire both the extreme strategies of the cool, silent, and cloistered St. Clare (enclosed, with a room of her own) and the lewd, exuberantly parodistic Mae West.
I so clearly understand this ambivalence, which itself speaks to the grotesque in a way, being a notion dependent on two concomitant opposites.