October 17, 1986 |
Monica Jensen, a member of that vast walking-wounded army we know as the divorced, moves to Glenkill, Pa., where she has been hired to teach at the Glenkill Academy for Boys. Hello, Ms. Chips? Not quite. At a party Monica meets Sheila Trask, a painter and the widow of famous sculptor Morton Flaxman. Seemingly indifferent to each other at first meeting, the two women develop a haunting and haunted friendship in Solstice by Joyce Carol Oates (Berkley, $3.95). This is not the usual friendship between two unattached women.
October 20, 1997 |
When Alice Walker and other African American women were coming of literary age in the 1970s, Cristina Cabral, a budding poet, dared not compose a verse. In the Uruguay of her youth, poetry was considered subversive. "I was a daughter of a dictatorship," said Cabral, 38, who lived in a nation that was once dubbed "the torture chamber of Latin America" by human rights groups. "You didn't write. You didn't talk about racism. You certainly didn't search for a black consciousness. " Rushing through the corridors of New York University last week, Cabral spotted one of her heroines - the African American writer Maya Angelou - and felt goose bumps all over.
November 6, 2005 |
Every woman I know has a story about a friendship that didn't last. They were closer than sisters, she'll say. Keepers of one another's deepest secrets. Joined at the heart as well as the hip. Before the break. One of them moved away. Or a husband and family took precedent. Maybe there was a fight, with ugly words tossed like stones. And suddenly, the separation was complete. But the story rarely ends there. More often than not, women say they feel regret, and a sense of deep loss that sometimes lasts for decades.
January 8, 2013
NEW YORK - Jayne Cortez, 78, a forceful poet, activist, and performance artist who blended oral and written traditions into numerous books and musical recordings, has died. The Organization of Women Writers of Africa says Ms. Cortez died of heart failure in New York on Dec. 28. She had helped found the group and, while dividing her time between homes in New York and Senegal, was planning a symposium of women writers to be held in Ghana in May. Ms. Cortez was a prominent figure in the black arts movement of the 1960s and '70s that advocated art as a vehicle for political protest.
October 26, 1986 |
Writer Cynthia Ozick bravely faced the crowd of 80 who had packed into a hot Bryn Mawr College classroom Thursday afternoon and got right to the heart of the matter. "I think I'm more nervous today than I've been in a very long time," she said. "And I think it must be because of the intimidating reputation of Bryn Mawr. " The audience laughed. Everyone seemed charmed by the self-effacing humor of the writer of short stories, novellas, essays and critiques, who has won numerous awards and received honorary degrees from four universities and colleges, including Harvard.
September 12, 1998 |
Catherine Turney, 92, the screenwriter who created the definitive roles for actresses such as Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino and Barbara Stanwyck, died Wednesday at her home in Sierra Madre, Calif. Ms. Turney specialized in Women Who Love Too Much, but unlike her male counterparts, she left her heroines their dignity. She wrote the screenplay for Mildred Pierce (1945), for which Joan Crawford won an Oscar as the sacrificing mother who tries to buy her daughter's love. For Lupino, Ms. Turney wrote the startlingly modern The Man I Love (1946)
June 16, 2005 |
My book group is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and we're getting all mushy about it. Two decades is longer than many marriages, of course. But getting together once a month is not a marriage, it's a relationship. And this relationship is bound by more than books - its foundation is food. Like the mothers we are, we feed one another with comfort from our kitchens. Laura makes a corn chowder with spicy croutons that always makes us drool like dogs. Charlotte has a cauliflower concoction that is so delicious it explains how she got her children to eat their vegetables.
October 4, 1990
Imagine for a moment that your job required you to get people to say something intelligent. That's tough enough, as anybody who's ever watched a presidential press conference knows. But let's add a few handicaps. Most of the people you are talking to will be about as smart as flatworms. They will, however, have the arrogant self-confidence of the recently truly wealthy. They will have the loan shark's unpleasantly menacing approach to life, since they too make their living by bashing other people upside their heads.
March 11, 1986 |
This week, while reading letters I wrote to my parents in the 1930s, I was amused at finding several references to requests from magazine editors for articles on a subject that was apparently causing them considerable worry - Can a woman combine marriage and a career? I don't believe I ever ran up one of these little homilies, but so many other women writers did and so many are still doing it that I don't think my contribution was ever really needed. It is with a feeling of deja vu that I read women's magazines and what used to be known as the women's pages of the newspapers.