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THINKING OUT LOUD by Anna Quindlen


On the Personal, the Political, the Public, and the Private

by Anna Quindlen

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-40711-1
Publisher: Random House

 In her second collection of New York Times pieces, Quindlen (Object Lessons, 1991, etc.) lets loose with her trademark intelligence, fervor, and personal focus on topics ranging from the Gulf War through absent fathers to the controversy over abortion. ``But is it really necessary for you to wear your gender on your sleeve?,'' an eager young journalist once asked the author. Citing her role model, editorialist Dorothy Thompson (who when told she had ``the brains of a man'' insisted she was ``altogether female''), Quindlen reiterates her belief that she owes it to herself, to the female reporters who broke ground for her generation at the Times, and to her readers to comment on world events from her underrepresented and valuable female viewpoint. Writing with greater maturity and depth than in her ``Life in the 30s'' column (Living Out Loud, 1988), she confidently proceeds to filter the abortion issue through her own experience as a Catholic mother of three; consider euthanasia from the perspective of a dying man's wife; observe her daughter's second birthday while considering that women as a whole still earn less than men; mull over the premature revelation of Arthur Ashe's case of AIDS from the point of view of a seasoned reporter; and lambast the Times, as a journalist and a woman, for revealing the name of the alleged rape victim in the William Kennedy Smith trial. Whimsical moments appear sporadically (Quindlen predicts the next movie blockbuster, Mom Alone), but rage surfaces more frequently from this woman writing in what she--perhaps optimistically--calls ``a world in which we can wear our gender on our sleeves.'' ``I'd love to run your column, but we already run Ellen Goodman,'' one newspaper editor candidly told Quindlen. Until the quota increases past one, here's a way for more readers to fall in love with at least one woman's very personal brand of passion.