January 2018 marked fifty years since Edward Abbey published his paean to America’s southwestern deserts. In the wake of this anniversary, numerous tributes to Abbey and his books appeared, but few, if any, of these articles looked at Abbey’s work through a feminist lens.
Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel mostly celebrates traditional gender roles and places a rosy, wistful haze over its portrayal of domestic life. But her well-rounded portrayal of imperfect women has afforded the novel a long-lasting relationship to feminist thought.
The first woman to be admitted into the French Academy was Marguerite Yourcenar, in 1980. Nowadays, as we’re nearing the Academy’s 400th anniversary, the proportion of women remains dismally low, and the members are overwhelmingly white.
The generation straddled wars, genres, and identities, leaving behind the staid writing of Edwardians, or what Hemingway referred to as “broad lawns and narrow minds.” Gertrude Stein was their godmother, acting as both an artist and a supporter of the arts.
The ways in which Anne, the mercurial, earnest girl at the center of the story lived, learned, grew, and blundered her way through life resonated with me, a perennial outsider and dreamer, wounded by things that, like Anne’s cruel treatment at the hands of the Hammonds and the orphanage
In my mind, Joan Didion and Annie Dillard are linked, two sides to the same coin, one the yin to the other’s yang. This is unfair to both women.
Up until recently, I’d always stacked Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex on the same mental shelf as War and Peace and In Search of Lost Time—books unwieldy in size and densely written, requiring a nearly extinct attention span.
Could a novel simultaneously peeve feminists and slash our image of the Garden of Eden? You might think so when you read Eve out of Her Ruins, a novel by Mauritian author Ananda Devi. The short and gorgeous book empowers women in a way that might infuriate feminists.
If that reality was so vital to Nabokov, if its silenced heart is what makes the novel so haunting, then there is space, surely, surely, for the real, breathing girl to speak properly.
Though Tillie Olsen published very little in her lifetime, her body of work had a great impact on the women’s movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. She was a champion of underrepresented writers. Olsen’s book, SILENCES, became a classic feminist text, and her works of fiction were met with