Most of these previously published essays on diverse topics first appeared in the Village Voice during the past eight years;...

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ESSAYS IN FEMINISM

Most of these previously published essays on diverse topics first appeared in the Village Voice during the past eight years; gathered under the rubric of feminism, they make up an impressive collection. Gornick's concerns range from the women's movement as such (""The Next Great Moment in History is Theirs"") through its processes (consciousness-raising) and issues (work, money, lesbianism) to psychological research (Matina Horner, Milton Kotelchuck) and literary criticism (the misogyny of Miller, Mailer, Roth, Bellow; the ""emotional cowardice"" of too many contemporary women writers). Most moving are her impressions of women who led the way: Agnes Smedley, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Fuller, Alice Paul, Dorothy Thompson. The very scope of her interests illustrates her persistent abhorrence of dogma that would circumscribe or stunt the revolutionary (and in her optimistic view, inexorable) expansion of feminist consciousness. Composed under the press of journalistic deadlines, the essays are not uniformly well-written (as Gornick acknowledges in introducing them); but the sometimes bumptious, clumsy, insistent prose measures and reflects the excitement of early days in the movement, and even under pressure Gornick is often enough at her powerful best. Some of what she has to say is by now well-known. (""Girls get dumber and dumber as they get older""), but much is surprisingly fresh. Important as social commentary, the collection is itself a significant document of a fastchanging decade--the record of a very smart woman working.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1978