An engrossing anthology of work, full of intimate details, from veterans of magazine journalism.

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THE STORIES WE TELL

CLASSIC TRUE TALES BY AMERICA'S GREATEST WOMEN JOURNALISTS

An anthology of landmark long-form articles written by female journalists.

Sims, herself a published journalist, has put together an anthology of magazine pieces by female writers. Some of the names will be well-known to readers—Joan Didion, Susan Orlean, Gloria Steinem. The essays contrast with each other in meaningful ways: murderers and survivors of murder attempts, famous and little-known figures in American history, high school students and a woman dying of Alzheimer’s. The caliber of work makes this collection a master class in the sort of long-form journalism that is published in magazines like the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, where many of these pieces were first seen. The diversity of subjects illustrates the breadth of work that is done by female journalists; it includes subjects and topics that historically might have been assigned to male journalists (such as “Soul Survivor,” Isabel Wilkerson’s profile of Black Power activist Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael). There is a helpful table of contents with summaries of the stories, and short biographies of the writers precede each piece. Some essays were published recently, like “Yuja Wang and the Art of Performance,” Janet Malcolm’s profile of the young concert pianist from 2016, and others are older, like “Mrs. Kennedy at the Moment,” Gloria Steinem’s profile of Jacqueline Kennedy’s life after JFK’s assassination, which ran in 1964. (It would have been helpful if the book listed where and when each piece originally ran.) Standout stories aside from those already mentioned include “The Last Day,” Robin Marantz Henig’s story of a woman determined to end her own life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and “The Cheerleaders” by E. Jean Carroll, a heartbreaking account of a connected series of murders and suicides in Dryden, New York. Particularly wrenching is the description of a young survivor who yelled into the author’s tape recorder, “This is reality, people! This really happened, OK?” It brings the emotional work these writers do sharply into focus.

An engrossing anthology of work, full of intimate details, from veterans of magazine journalism.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 385

Publisher: The Sager Group

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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