Category: women

RIP: Diana Athill.

The great and graceful writer Diana Athill has just passed away, age 101. Here’s a piece I wrote about her for the literary site BLOOM (about writers and other artists who come into their prime after age 40). Diana Athill: The Sufficient Self

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Macaulay and Marlborough: “The Favourite” on screen and page.

It’s not often that a movie lives up to its press, but “The Favourite” does – and more.  It also reanimates a story coming to life in front of me, right now, in the first six-volume history of England written by a woman, published around the American Revolution and resting on my desk in the […]

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On Marghanita Laski’s “The Victorian Chaise-Longue.”

The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski (1953), published by Persephone Books (1999) “We think back through our mothers,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “if we are women.” Marghanita Laski’s terrifying novel The Victorian Chaise-Longue (1953) spins this proposition sideways. What if becoming a mother makes a woman a time-traveler against her will?  What if mothering allows memory […]

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Confirmation.

When you’re a woman, you try to live in hope, and you try to teach others (especially younger women) the same. Because, after all, the world doesn’t accommodate itself to you and never has. You are the one who must make way, yield the floor, decline to give way to professionally discrediting anger, sit incredulously […]

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The Women’s March: here, there, and everywhere.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 It felt good to be out on our little town’s main street with a sign in my hand again, surrounded by my friends and students and – despite the chilly fog – determination and hope. As I describe in my forthcoming book, The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and […]

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Roots.

This stem of Hibiscus mutabilis, a.k.a. Confederate rose, flourishes in a Mason jar on my kitchen counter, ready for repotting.  Its mother plant, originally a cutting from my parents’ yard in Alabama, is resprouting too.  Last summer I planted a cutting like this in my yard to see whether, as the plant encyclopedia promised, it […]

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