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Act Like You're Having a Good Time
Michele Weldon
Northwestern University Press, 2020

Winner, 2021 Gilda Women's Book Award

In this honest and tender collection of essays, award-winning memoirist Michele Weldon asks what it means to be a mature woman seeking a life of purpose and meaning through work, family, and relationships. Facing ageism and invisibility within popular culture, Weldon examines the effects of raising children, striving for applause, failing expectations, forming new friendships, reconciling lost dreams, and restoring one’s faith. With sincerity and humor, she unwraps family traditions, painting classes, lap swimming, dress codes, and career disappointments. She addresses white privilege and her evolving understanding of racism. And she asks crucial questions about mortality, finding connection in writing and stories.

Frank, eloquent, and daring, Weldon dissects the intricacies of life, journeying toward self-discovery as a mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Readers of any age or gender will recognize the universal experience of learning to accept oneself and asking essential questions—even if there are no easy answers.


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Angela Hutchinson Hammer
Arizona's Pioneer Newspaperwoman
Betty E. Hammer Joy
University of Arizona Press, 2005
In 1905, with her marriage dissolved and desperate to find a way to feed her children, Angela Hutchinson Hammer bought a handpress, some ink, and a few fonts of type, and began printing a little tabloid called the Wickenburg Miner. In her naïveté, Angela never dreamed this purchase would place her squarely in the forefront of power struggles during Arizona's early days of statehood.

A true daughter of the West, Angela, born in a tiny mining hamlet in Nevada, came to the Territory of Arizona at the age of twelve. Betty Hammer Joy weaves together the lively story of her grandmother's life by drawing upon Angela's own prodigious writing and correspondence, newspaper archives, and the recollections of family members. Her book recounts the stories Angela told of growing up in mining camps, teaching in territorial schools, courtship, marriage, and a twenty-eight-year career in publishing and printing. During this time, Angela managed to raise three sons, run for public office before women in the nation had the right to vote, serve as Immigration Commissioner in Pinal County, homestead, and mature into an activist for populist agendas and water conservation. As questionable deals took place both within and outside the halls of government, the crusading Angela encountered many duplicitous characters who believed that women belonged at home darning socks, not running a newspaper.

Although Angela's independent papers brought personal hardship and little if any financial reward, after her death in 1952 the newspaper industry paid tribute to this courageous woman by selecting her as the first woman to enter the Arizona Newspaper Hall of Fame. In 1983 she was honored posthumously with another award for women who contributed to Arizona's progress—induction into the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame.

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Buying the Night Flight
The Autobiography of a Woman Foreign Correspondent
Georgie Anne Geyer
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Buying the Night Flight is Georgie Anne Geyer's retelling of her thrilling rise from cub reporter to foreign correspondent as she made her way into the male-dominated world of journalism. Geyer transports the reader to Guatemala, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, and Cambodia, recounting the history and politics, adventure and exhaustion of the time from a truly unique perspective. Told with brilliance and dead-on honesty, this book vividly captures the triumphs of a determined and talented young reporter.

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The Crucible
An Autobiography by Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla
Cruz, Denise
Rutgers University Press, 2010

On December 8, 1941, as the Pacific War reached the Philippines, Yay Panlilio, a Filipina-Irish American, faced a question with no easy answer: How could she contribute to the war?

In this 1950 memoir, The Crucible: An Autobiography by Colonel Yay, Filipina American Guerrilla, Panlilio narrates her experience as a journalist, triple agent, leader in the Philippine resistance against the Japanese, and lover of the guerrilla general Marcos V. Augustin. From the war-torn streets of Japanese-occupied Manila, to battlegrounds in the countryside, and the rural farmlands of central California, Panlilio blends wry commentary, rigorous journalistic detail, and popular romance.

Weaving together appearances by Douglas MacArthur and Carlos Romulo with dangerous espionage networks, this work provides an insightful perspective on the war. The Crucible invites readers to see new intersections in Filipina/o, Asian American, and American literature studies, and Denise Cruz's introduction imparts key biographical, historical, and cultural contexts to that purpose.


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Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman's Point of View
New Thought Radicalism in Portland’s Progressive Era
Lawrence M. Lipin
Oregon State University Press, 2017
Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View is an intellectual biography of a long-forgotten radical female journalist in Portland, whose daily women’s columns provide a window into the breadth of intellectual radicalism in Progressive Era journalism. Baldwin was one of an early generation of female journalists who were hired to lure female readers to the daily newspaper’s department store advertisements. Instead of catering to the demands of consumerism, Baldwin quickly brought an anti-capitalist, antiracist agenda to her column, “The Woman’s Point of View." She eschewed household hints and instead focused on the immorality of capitalists and imperialists while emphasizing the need for women to become independent and productive citizens. 
A century before the Occupy movement and the Women’s March, Baldwin spoke truth to power. Imbued with a New Thought spirituality that presumed progressive thought could directly affect material reality, she wrote to move history forward. And yet, the trajectory of history proved as hard to forecast then as now.  While her personal story seems to embody a modern progressivism, blending abolition with labor reform and anti-banker activism—positions from which she never wavered—her path grew more complicated as times changed in the aftermath of World War I, when she would advocate on behalf of both the Bolsheviks and the Ku Klux Klan.
In this deeply researched and nuanced account of Eleanor Baldwin’s intellectual journey, historian Larry Lipin reveals how even the most dedicated radical can be overcome by unforeseen events. Eleanor Baldwin and the Woman’s Point of View restores a missing chapter in Portland’s Progressive Era history and rescues this passionate, intriguing, and quixotic character from undeserved obscurity.

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Equal To The Occasion
Women Editors On The Nineteenth-Century West
Sherilyn Cox Bennion
University of Nevada Press, 1990

Bennion provides in-depth portraits of nineteenth-century women editors of the West and their diverse publications. The book's title takes its name from an 1898 editorial in the Wasatch Wave which described Piute Pioneer editor Candace Alice De Witt as a "maiden fair, fully equal to the occasion."Equal to the Occasion delves into the lives, publications, and historical contexts in which approximately thirty-five female editors of newspapers and other periodicals worked in the nineteenth-century West. The book covers the period from 1854, when the West's first woman editor began her work, through the turn of the century; it includes research gathered from thirteen western states. With its in-depth portraits of pioneering women editors and its appendix listing more than two hundred women and the major repositories where their extant publications are kept, Equal to the Occasion rescues from obscurity a whole panoply of nineteenth-century western women.


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Freda Kirchwey
A Woman of The Nation
Sara Alpern
Harvard University Press, 1987

Freda Kirchwey—writer, editor, publisher, opinionmaker, feminist, wife, and mother—was a salient figure in twentieth-century America, a beacon for liberals and activists of her era. A journalist with The Nation from 1918 to 1955—owner, editor, and publisher after 1937—she was an advocate of advanced ideas about sexual freedom and birth control and a tireless foe of fascism. The quintessential new woman, she combined a private and highly visible public life.

In this first full-scale biography of Kirchwey, Sara Alpern weaves the strands of gender-related issues with larger social explorations. An early feminist, from a privileged and progressive background, Kirchwey was determined to enjoy both career and marriage, but the early deaths of two of her three sons and strained relations with her husband led to self-doubt about her identity. Yet despite any hidden misgivings, her humanitarianism and outstanding journalistic and critical gifts projected her onto the larger stage of public life. Alpern richly describes Kirchwey’s extraordinary work editing The Nation, one of the longest surviving American liberal journals, and shaping public opinion on domestic and international affairs. Kirchwey focused on large political and international issues—the Spanish Civil War, democracy versus fascism and Nazism, pacifism and collective security, the plight of refugees and Zionism, McCarthyism and censorship, and, finally, the peaceful employment of atomic power.

Freda Kirchwey’s life story introduces a remarkable woman to a new generation struggling with personal and career goals as it recalls the efflorescence of liberalism for an older generation of readers.


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Freedom Sun in the Tropics
Ana Maria Machado, Translated by Renata R. M. Wasserman
Tagus Press, 2020
Based upon the author's own experiences of life, exile, and return under the dictatorship that gripped Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s, Freedom Sun in the Tropics follows Lena, a journalist, as she resists violence and political repression, and decides to flee to Paris. Upon her eventual return, Lena soon discovers that the dictatorship's prison walls have enclosed private lives and hold strong even after the collapse of authoritarianism. With friendship, truth, and family broken, she struggles to make the difficult return to freedom and regain a sense of life—and simple decency—on the other side of trauma. Originally published in 1988, Ana Maria Machado's novel vividly captures one of the darkest periods in recent Brazilian history.

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How the News Feels
The Empathic Power of Literary Journalists
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
University of Massachusetts Press, 2023

Literary journalism’s origins can be traced to the nineteenth century, when it developed alongside the era’s sentimental literature. Combining fact-based reporting with the sentimentality of popular fiction, literary journalism encouraged readers to empathize with subjects by presenting more nuanced and engaging stories than typical news coverage. While women writers were central to the formation and ongoing significance of the genre, literary journalism scholarship has largely ignored their contributions.

How the News Feels re-centers the work of a range of writers who were active from the nineteenth century until today, including Catharine Williams, Margaret Fuller, Nellie Bly, Winifred Black, Zora Neale Hurston, Joan Didion, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and Alexis Okeowo. Offering intimate access to their subjects’ thoughts, motivations, and yearnings, these journalists encouraged readers to empathize with society’s outcasts, from asylum inmates and murder suspects to “fallen women” and the working poor. As this carefully researched study shows, these writers succeeded in defining and developing the genre of literary journalism, with stories that inspire action, engender empathy, and narrow the gap between writer, subject, and audience.


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An Improper Profession
Women, Gender, and Journalism in Late Imperial Russia
Barbara T. Norton and Jehanne M Gheith, eds.
Duke University Press, 2001
Journalism has long been a major factor in defining the opinions of Russia’s literate classes. Although women participated in nearly every aspect of the journalistic process during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, female editors, publishers, and writers have been consistently omitted from the history of journalism in Imperial Russia. An Improper Profession offers a more complete and accurate picture of this history by examining the work of these under-appreciated professionals and showing how their involvement helped to formulate public opinion.

In this collection, contributors explore how early women journalists contributed to changing cultural understandings of women’s roles, as well as how class and gender politics meshed in the work of particular individuals. They also examine how female journalists adapted to—or challenged—censorship as political structures in Russia shifted. Over the course of this volume, contributors discuss the attitudes of female Russian journalists toward socialism, Russian nationalism, anti-Semitism, women’s rights, and suffrage. Covering the period from the early 1800s to 1917, this collection includes essays that draw from archival as well as published materials and that range from biography to literary and historical analysis of journalistic diaries.

By disrupting conventional ideas about journalism and gender in late Imperial Russia, An Improper Profession should be of vital interest to scholars of women’s history, journalism, and Russian history.

Contributors. Linda Harriet Edmondson, June Pachuta Farris, Jehanne M Gheith, Adele Lindenmeyr, Carolyn Marks, Barbara T. Norton, Miranda Beaven Remnek, Christine Ruane, Rochelle Ruthchild, Mary Zirin


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Inventing Loreta Velasquez
Confederate Soldier Impersonator, Media Celebrity, and Con Artist
William C. Davis
Southern Illinois University Press, 2016
She went by many names—Mary Ann Keith, Ann Williams, Lauretta Williams, and more—but history knows her best as Loreta Janeta Velasquez, a woman who claimed to have posed as a man to fight for the Confederacy. In Inventing Loreta Velasquez, acclaimed historian William C. Davis delves into the life of one of America’s early celebrities, peeling back the myths she herself created to reveal a startling and even more implausible reality.

This groundbreaking biography reveals a woman quite different from the public persona she promoted. In her bestselling memoir, The Woman in Battle, Velasquez claimed she was an emphatic Confederate patriot, but in fact she never saw combat. Instead, during the war she manufactured bullets for the Union and persuaded her Confederate husband to desert the Army.

After the Civil War ended, she wore many masks, masterminding ambitious confidence schemes worth millions, such as creating a phony mining company, conning North Carolina residents to back her financially in a fake immigration scheme, and attracting investors to build a railroad across western Mexico. With various husbands, Velasquez sought her fortune both in the American West and in the Klondike, though her endeavors cost one husband his life. She also became a social reformer advocating on behalf of better prison conditions, the Cuban revolt against Spain, and the plight of Cuban refugees. Further, Velasquez was one of the first women to venture into journalism and presidential politics. Always a sensational press favorite, she displayed throughout her life an uncanny ability to manipulate popular media and to benefit from her fame in a way that prefigured celebrities of our own time, including using her testimony in a Congressional inquiry about Civil War counterfeiting as a means of promoting her latest business ventures.

So little has been known of Velasquez’s real life that some postmodern scholars have glorified her as a “woman warrior” and used her as an example in cross-gender issues and arguments concerning Hispanic nationalism. Davis firmly refutes these notions by bringing the historical Velasquez to the surface. The genuine story of Velasquez’s life is far more interesting than misguided interpretations and her own fanciful inventions.

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Left of Karl Marx
The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones
Carole Boyce Davies
Duke University Press, 2007
In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915–1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery, to the left of Karl Marx—a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism.

Claudia Cumberbatch Jones was born in Trinidad. In 1924, she moved to New York, where she lived for the next thirty years. She was active in the Communist Party from her early twenties onward. A talented writer and speaker, she traveled throughout the United States lecturing and organizing. In the early 1950s, she wrote a well-known column, “Half the World,” for the Daily Worker. As the U.S. government intensified its efforts to prosecute communists, Jones was arrested several times. She served nearly a year in a U.S. prison before being deported and given asylum by Great Britain in 1955. There she founded The West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News and the Caribbean Carnival, an annual London festival that continues today as the Notting Hill Carnival. Boyce Davies examines Jones’s thought and journalism, her political and community organizing, and poetry that the activist wrote while she was imprisoned. Looking at the contents of the FBI file on Jones, Boyce Davies contrasts Jones’s own narration of her life with the federal government’s. Left of Karl Marx establishes Jones as a significant figure within Caribbean intellectual traditions, black U.S. feminism, and the history of communism.


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Manufacturing Celebrity
Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood
Vanessa Diaz
Duke University Press, 2020
In Manufacturing Celebrity Vanessa Díaz traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for People magazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, Díaz examines the racialized and gendered labor involved in manufacturing and selling relatable celebrity personas. Celebrity reporters, most of whom are white women, are expected to leverage their sexuality to generate coverage, which makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. Meanwhile, the predominantly male Latino paparazzi can face life-threatening situations and endure vilification that echoes anti-immigrant rhetoric. In pointing out the precarity of those who hustle to make a living by generating the bulk of celebrity media, Díaz highlights the profound inequities of the systems that provide consumers with 24/7 coverage of their favorite stars.

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Missing Millie Benson
The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist
Julie K. Rubini
Ohio University Press, 2015

Growing up in Ladora, Iowa, Mildred “Millie” Benson had ample time to develop her imagination and sense of adventure. While still a journalism graduate student at the University of Iowa, Millie began writing for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which published the phenomenally popular Hardy Boys series, among others. Soon, Millie was tapped for a new series starring amateur sleuth Nancy Drew, a young, independent woman not unlike Millie herself. Under the pen name Carolyn Keene, Millie wrote the first book, The Secret of the Old Clock, and twenty-two other Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. In all, Millie wrote more than a hundred novels for young people.

Millie was also a journalist for the Toledo Times and the Toledo Blade. At sixty-two, she obtained her pilot’s license. Follow the clues throughout Missing Millie to discover the story of this ghostwriter, journalist, and adventurer.


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Movie Mavens
US Newspaper Women Take On the Movies, 1914-1923
Edited by Richard Abel
University of Illinois Press, 2021
During the early era of cinema, moviegoers turned to women editors and writers for the latest on everyone's favorite stars, films, and filmmakers. Richard Abel returns these women to film history with an anthology of reviews, articles, and other works. Drawn from newspapers of the time, the selections show how columnists like Kitty Kelly, Mae Tinee, Louella Parsons, and Genevieve Harris wrote directly to female readers. They also profiled women working in jobs like scenario writer and film editor and noted the industry's willingness to hire women. Sharp wit and frank opinions entertained and informed a wide readership hungry for news about the movies but also about women on both sides of the camera. Abel supplements the texts with hard-to-find biographical information and provides context on the newspapers and silent-era movie industry as well as on the professionals and films highlighted by these writers. 

An invaluable collection of rare archival sources, Movie Mavens reveals women's essential contribution to the creation of American film culture.


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Newspaperwoman of the Ozarks
The Life and Times of Lucile Morris Upton
Susan Croce Kelly
University of Arkansas Press, 2023

Lucile Morris Upton landed her first newspaper job out West in the early 1920s, then returned home to spend half a century reporting on the Ozarks world she knew best. Having come of age just as women gained the right to vote, she took advantage of opportunities that presented themselves in a changing world. During her years as a journalist, Upton rubbed shoulders with presidents, flew with aviation pioneer Wiley Post, covered the worst single killing of US police officers in the twentieth century, wrote an acclaimed book on the vigilante group known as the Bald Knobbers, charted the growth of tourism in the Ozarks, and spearheaded a movement to preserve iconic sites of regional history. Following retirement from her newspaper job, she put her experience to good use as a member of the Springfield City Council and community activist.

Told largely through Upton’s own words, this insightful biography captures the excitement of being on the front lines of newsgathering in the days when the whole world depended on newspapers to find out what was happening.


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Occupying Our Space
The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942
Cristina Devereaux Ramírez; Foreword by Jacqueline Jones Royster
University of Arizona Press, 2015
Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award Winner

Occupying Our Space sheds new light on the contributions of Mexican women journalists and writers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism. Journalists played a significant role in transforming Mexican social and political life before and after the Revolution (1910–1920), and women were a part of this movement as publishers, writers, public speakers, and political activists. However, their contributions to the broad historical changes associated with the Revolution, as well as the pre- and post-revolutionary eras, are often excluded or overlooked.
This book fills a gap in feminine rhetorical history by providing an in-depth look at several important journalists who claimed rhetorical puestos, or public speaking spaces. The book closely examines the writings of Laureana Wright de Kleinhans (1842–1896), Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza (1875­–1942), the political group Las mujeres de Zitácuaro (1900), Hermila Galindo (1896–1954), and others. Grounded in the overarching theoretical lens of mestiza rhetoric, Occupying Our Space considers the ways in which Mexican women journalists negotiated shifting feminine identities and the emerging national politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With full-length Spanish primary documents along with their translations, this scholarship reframes the conversation about the rhetorical and intellectual role women played in the ever-changing political and identity culture in Mexico.

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Oriana Fallaci
The Woman and the Myth
Santo L. Aricò
Southern Illinois University Press, 1998

Internationally acclaimed as a journalist, war correspondent, interviewer, and novelist, Oriana Fallaci’s public persona reached almost mythic proportions. It is a myth Fallaci herself created, according to Santo L. Aricò, who probes the psychological forces that motivated one of the twentieth century’s most famous and successful women writers.

Using his own extensive interviews with the writer, Aricò maps out Fallaci’s journey through life, paying particular attention to her ongoing and painstaking attempts to establish her own mythical status. He first examines her career as a literary journalist, emphasizing the high quality of her writing. From there, he concentrates on how Fallaci’s personal image began to emerge in her writings, as well as the way in which, through her powerful narratives, she catapulted herself into the public eye as her own main character.


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Rhetorical Education in Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Women's Journalism
Grace Wetzel, with a foreword by Shari J. Stenberg
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
Examining the rhetorical and pedagogical work of three turn-of-the-century newspaperwomen

At the end of the nineteenth century, newspapers powerfully shaped the U.S. reading public, fostering widespread literacy development and facilitating rhetorical education. With new opportunities to engage audiences, female journalists repurposed the masculine tradition of journalistic writing by bringing together intimate forms of rhetoric and pedagogy to create innovative new dialogues. Rhetorical Education in Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Women’s Journalism illuminates the pedagogical contributions of three newspaperwomen to show how the field became a dynamic site of public participation, relationship building, education, and activism in the 1880s and 1890s.

Grace Wetzel introduces us to the work of Omaha correspondent Susette La Flesche Tibbles (Inshta Theamba), African American newspaper columnist Gertrude Bustill Mossell, and white middle-class reporter Winifred Black (“Annie Laurie”). Journalists by trade, these three writers made the mass-circulating newspaper their site of teaching and social action, inviting their audiences and communities—especially systematically marginalized voices—to speak, write, and teach alongside them.

Situating these journalists within their own specific writing contexts and personas, Wetzel reveals how Mossell promoted literacy learning and community investment among African American women through a reader-centered pedagogy; La Flesche modeled relational news research and reporting as a survivance practice while reporting for the Omaha Morning World-Herald at the time of the Wounded Knee Massacre; and Black inspired public writing and activism among children from different socioeconomic classes through her “Little Jim” story. The teachings of these figures serve as enduring examples of how we can engage in meaningful public literacy and ethical journalism.

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So Many Africas
Six Years in a Zambian Village
Jill Kandel
Autumn House Press, 2015
Kandel's memoir is a powerful picture of a young American woman's struggle to reconcile her new marriage with the realities of living in East Africa.

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Stirring It Up with Molly Ivins
A Memoir with Recipes
By Ellen Sweets
University of Texas Press, 2011

You probably knew Molly Ivins as an unabashed civil libertarian who used her rapier wit and good ole Texas horse sense to excoriate political figures she deemed unworthy of our trust and respect. But did you also know that Molly was one helluva cook? And we're not just talking chili and chicken-fried steak, either. Molly Ivins honed her culinary skills on visits to France—often returning with perfected techniques for saumon en papillote or delectable clafouti aux cerises. Friends who had the privilege of sharing Molly's table got not only a heaping helping of her insights into the political shenanigans of the day, but also a mouth-watering meal, prepared from scratch with the finest ingredients and assembled with the same meticulous attention to detail that Molly devoted to skewering a political recalcitrant.

In Stirring It Up with Molly Ivins, her longtime friend, fellow reporter, and frequent sous-chef Ellen Sweets takes us into the kitchen with Molly and introduces us to the private woman behind the public figure. She serves up her own and others' favorite stories about Ivins as she recalls the fabulous meals they shared, complete with recipes for thirty-five of Molly's signature dishes. These stories reveal a woman who was even more fascinating and complex than the "professional Texan" she enjoyed playing in public. Friends who ate with Molly knew a cultured woman who was a fluent French speaker, voracious reader, rugged outdoors aficionado, music lover, loyal and loving friend, and surrogate mom to many of her friends' children, as well as to her super-spoiled poodle. They also came to revere the courageous woman who refused to let cancer stop her from doing what she wanted, when she wanted. This is the Molly you'll be delighted to meet in Stirring It Up with Molly Ivins.


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Jan Richman
Tupelo Press, 2013
Journalist and armchair thrill-seeker Jan Richman gets a freelance assignment to write about the nation’s old-fashioned wooden roller coasters. Jan takes off across the U.S. to report on a fanatical sub-culture. This picaresque research junket dovetails with the wedding of her Tourette’s-riddled father, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Brazen and stingingly funny, Thrill-Bent zooms from Coney Island to New Orleans to the San Fernando Valley as our heroine learns how to be truly impulsive in a buttoned-down world.

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The Time We Have
Essays on Pandemic Living
Michele Weldon
Northwestern University Press, 2024
A candid and cathartic exploration of pandemic life, from family to pop culture to healthcare—and beyond
At a time when so many are dealing with collective and personal grief, award-winning author and journalist Michele Weldon’s new collection of essays navigates the revelatory and upending nature of this extraordinary pandemic era through a lens of love and connection. Weldon explores pain and pleasure alike with emotional texture, empathy, wisdom, vulnerability, and humor. She interrogates moments of joy, despair, and triumph, offering readers the possibility for a richly cathartic experience. With honesty and agility, Weldon creates poignant intersections of her narrative with popular culture, history, media, news, consumerism, family traditions, and healthcare. Employing honest and daring language, Weldon examines the concepts of safety, importance of beloved objects, power of words, shift to remote relationships, concepts of feminism, betrayal of public lies, and more. Ultimately, with grace and heart, Weldon offers in these essays useful pathways toward framing this swath of time so that we might arrive at a sense of understanding, belonging, and peace with our new realities.

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Unbound Spirit
Letters of Flora Belle Jan
Flora Belle Jan. Edited by Fleur Yano and Saralyn Daly. Introduction by Judy Wu.
University of Illinois Press, 2008
This volume collects the letters written over a thirty-year period by a second generation Chinese American woman, Flora Belle Jan (1906–50). Born in California to immigrant parents and educated at Berkeley and the University of Chicago, Jan raised three children with her husband Charles Wang and worked as a journalist in both the United States and China. Written during the years 1918–48, these letters offer unique insight into the social and political situation of educated, middle-class, professional Chinese American women in the early twentieth century. Literate, candid, and charming, they convey the intellectual curiosity and perspicacity of a vivacious and ambitious woman while tracing her engagement with two different worlds.

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A Woman in the Crossfire
Diaries of the Syrian Revolution
Samar Yazbek
Haus Publishing, 2012
A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends. With rare empathy and journalistic prowess Samar Yazbek compiled oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians all over the country. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, she offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising. Hers is a modest yet powerful testament to the strength and commitment of countless unnamed Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them, and challenge the world to look anew at the trials and tribulations of the Syrian uprising.

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A Woman of the Times
Journalism, Feminism, and the Career of Charlotte Curtis
Marilyn S. Greenwald
Ohio University Press, 1999

For twenty-five years, Charlotte Curtis was a society/women's reporter and editor and an op-ed editor at the New York Times. As the first woman section editor at the Times, Curtis was a pioneering journalist and one of the first nationwide to change the nature and content of the women's pages from fluffy wedding announcements and recipes to the more newsy, issue-oriented stories that characterize them today. In this riveting biography, Marilyn Greenwald describes how a woman reporter from Columbus, Ohio, broke into the ranks of the male-dominated upper echelon at the New York Times. It documents what she did to succeed and what she had to sacrifice.

Charlotte Curtis paved the way for the journalists who followed her. A Woman of the Times offers a chronicle of her hard-won journey as she invents her own brand of feminism during the 1960s and 1970s. In the telling of this remarkable woman’s life is the story, as well, of a critical era in the nation’s social history.


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Women in American Journalism
A New History
Jan Whitt
University of Illinois Press, 2007
In this volume, Jan Whitt tells the stories of women who have been overlooked in journalism history, offering an important corrective to scholarship that narrowly focuses on the deeds of men like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. She shows how numerous women broadened the editorial scope of newspapers and journals, transformed women’s professional roles, used journalism as a training ground for major literary works, and led breakthroughs in lesbian and alternative presses.

Whitt explores the lives of women reporters who achieved significant historical recognition, such as Ida Tarbell and Ida Wells-Barnett. Investigating the often blurry boundary between journalism and literature, she explains how this fluid distinction has actually limited how many scholars perceive the contributions of authors such as Joan Didion and Susan Orlean. Whitt also highlights the work of important novelists, including Willa Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty, to shed light on how their work as journalists informed their highly successful fiction.

This study also offers a survey of contributions women have made to the alternative presses, including the environmental press and civil rights activism. Whitt examines important figures in the early feminist press such as Caroline Churchill, editor and reporter for Denver’s Queen Bee, and Betty Wilkins of Kansas City’s Call. Finally, through newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and journals, she traces the history of the lesbian press and points out the ways in which it indicates that the alternative press is thriving.


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Women of the Washington Press
Politics, Prejudice, and Persistence
Maurine H. Beasley
Northwestern University Press, 2012
Winner, 2012 Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award

Women of the Washington Press argues that for nearly two centuries women journalists have persisted in their efforts to cover politics in the nation’s capital in spite of blatant prejudice and restrictive societal attitudes. They have been held back by the difficulties of combining two competing roles – those of women and journalists. As a group they have not agreed among themselves on feminist goals, while declaring that they aspire to be seen as professional journalists, not as advocates of a particular ideology. Still, they have brought a different perspective to the news, as they have fought hard to prove that they are capable of covering political issues just like male journalists. Over the years women have networked with each other and carved out areas of expertise – such as reporting of politically-oriented social events and coverage of first ladies – that men disdained, while they pressed to gain entrance to sex-segregated institutions like the National Press Club. Attempting to merge the personal and the political, they have raised issues like sexual harassment that men journalists left untouched. At a point today where they represent about half of accredited correspondents, women still face shifting barriers that make it difficult to combine the roles of both women and journalists in Washington, but they are continuing to broaden the definition of political journalism.




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