THE CONFIDENCE WOMAN

26 WOMEN WRITERS AT WORK

A refreshing variety of attitudes toward the experience of writing as a woman are inventively presented in this collection of essays by contemporary female poets and writers, whose editor is herself a poet and teacher of writing. Not surprisingly, the Plath/Woolf dichotomy figures most prominently in the collective unconscious of these writers—Plath exemplifying the worst-case scenario when she succumbs to the pressures of family vs. writing by following ``the wrong recipe, the martyr's recipe'' and sticking her head instead of a cake into the oven (as Laura Kalpakian says in ``My Life as a Boy''), while Woolf, discussed by several of the writers here, boosts morale with her revolutionary assertion in A Room of One's Own that talented women should appropriate time and solitude for work as matter-of- factly as do men. Though many of these committed artists suffered long periods of undefined dissatisfaction before they discovered their vocation, and nearly all had to face the primal art vs. family conundrum in their careers, their reactions to gender- associated adversity and their present attitudes toward their work differ radically. Nahid Rachlin (``Would I Have Become a Writer Without My Sister?'') focuses on her mysterious early power to transport her younger sibling into imaginary realities, while Pam Durban (``Layers'') describes the pleasure she takes in writing as ``seeing how much time and space a story can cross.'' Kalpakian brashly declares herself a greater literary hero than, say, Norman Mailer, because she struggles against the demands of single- parenthood to eke out time and psychic space for creative work; Louise Gluck suggests in ``The Education of the Poet'' that perhaps the greatest challenge is ``to separate the shallow from the deep, and to choose the deep.'' Passionate, reflective, and playful—an education for the next generation. (For another collection by women on writing, see Janet Sternburg's The Writer on Her Work, p. 37.)

Pub Date: June 24, 1991

ISBN: 0-929264-91-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Longstreet

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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