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