From Publishers Weekly
In these 20 interviews with women writers of fiction, Jordan, who teaches at Hampton University in Virginia, attempts to plumb the relations between black and white women in fiction and in life, and to explore the creative process. Although the book suffers from lengthy discussions of somewhat obscure work, the interviewees, most of whom have portrayed female characters of a race other than their own, offer intriguing, often conflicting observations about the primacy of race, gender or class. Kaye Gibbons ( Ellen Foster ) suggests that rural locations offer commonality to black and white Southern women; Marita Golden ( Long Distance Life ) observes that white writers emphasize female beauty while black writers focus on character. This book may be a useful supplement to literature courses.
From Library Journal
The message derived from the candid and articulate women interviewed here is, as Belva Plain states, "you learn as you live together." Editor Jordan (Hampton Univ., Virginia) has opened a dialog on writing and race relations by publishing these interviews with 20 significant contemporary black and white women writers, from Alice Childress and Joyce Carol Oates to Mildred Pitts Walker. The substance of these writers' thoughts is that the commonality of women's experience informs the genuine portrayal of a character as much as does the writer's understanding of her blackness or whiteness. This special book, so different from others that examine the writing process, is likely to stimulate dialog among women and to provoke serious study of many excellent women writers working today. Recommended for all collections supporting the study of literature, women's studies, and race relations.