Posts Tagged: women writers

SarahTomlinson_7272 copy 2 credit Piper Ferguson

The Rumpus Interview with Sarah Tomlinson

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Author Sarah Tomlinson talks about ghostwriting, her father and childhood, the tradition of confessional writing, and her new memoir, Good Girl. ...more

In Search of Women

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The latest VIDA count might have some disappointing if unsurprising results, but there are empowered women involved in the literary community if you know where to look. Danielle Lazarin compiled a list of journals run by women over at The Review Review and reflects on her choice to focus on these journals:

Most of my writer friends are women.

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Women, Writing, and Madness

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I found a precedent for girls like me in the work of confessional poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. They represented a respectable compromise between “real literature” and my irrepressible tendency to let the personal creep into my writing. I related intensely to the ferocity and focus in their work, but I soon felt the hinges of a trap closing around me.

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Who Really Struggles Here?

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Amy Shearn makes the case for the struggle of author Dorothy Miller Richardson.

As much as I do love my dear prolific weirdo Knausgaard, he hasn’t really done anything all that revolutionary. In fact, exactly a century ago, England saw the beginnings of a similarly expansive novel brimming with what Ben Lerner called Knausgaard’s “radical inclusiveness … style-less style … apparently equal fascination with everything.” And no, I don’t mean Proust or Joyce, although at the time the writer was often mentioned in the same breath.

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Writers for Choice

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When she realized her local Planned Parenthood was struggling to stay open, author and board member Lauren Groff recruited two-dozen other writers to auction off various literary swag in a fundraising event called The Choice Auction. The group, which included acclaimed writers like Roxane Gay, Emma Straub, and Meg Wolitzer, raised over $21,000 for the cause.

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Ladies Are Taking Over Crime

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Laura Miller opines that male-authored crime novels are a bit too predictable. Instead…

 I’ve found instead that the crime novels I open with the keenest anticipation these days are almost always by women. These are books that trespass the established boundaries of their genre, adding a dash — or more than a dash — of fabulism, or lingering over characters who used to serve as the mere furniture of the old-style hard-boiled fiction.

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Maintaining Human Life

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Writing may be hard work, but it isn’t the kind that pays the bills. Tillie Olsen’s seminal Silences wonders just what kind of work writing really is, and who has the privilege to do it:

Though access to education has improved for women and for members of the working class (categories that intersect) the lessons of “Silences” still resonate.

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BinderCon: A Symposium on Women Writers Today

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Mitt Romney ignited a feminist revolution during the 2012 presidential debates when he said, “I went to a number of women’s groups and said: ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Throw VIDA’s pie charts highlighting “gender disparity in major literary publications and book reviews” into the mix, and you’ll grasp the necessity of Out of the Binders, a two-day solution/conference at NYU of workshops and panels “on/for/by women in the literary arts and film/TV” (which is probably you if you’re reading this post), aimed “to empower women and gender non-conforming writers with tools, connections, and strategies to advance their careers” (and enhance cup size).

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Privilege vs. Privilege

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In an excerpt from her book The Shelf, Phyllis Rose illustrates the systematic dismissal of women writers through the imagined figure of Prospero’s Daughter: wealthy and educated yet burdened by the demands of a family life whose quotidian challenges, having monopolized her time, become central concerns in her work.

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We Respectfully Decline

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At Guernica, Alexandria Peary observes a fine but lethal distinction between being declined and being rejected, a difference that had very real effects on the literary ambitions of nineteenth-century female writers. While to decline a submission implies thoughtful deliberation over that particular work, rejection is an all-encompassing denouncement of something larger: a category or, in this case, a gender:

Women writers in the nineteenth century—when creative writing really got going as a possible profession—faced more rejections than declines, though probably more than a spoonful of dejection.

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What’s Sexist and What’s Not

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Novelist Jennifer Weiner has long been an outspoken critic of literary sexism, vocally demanding respect for herself and other female authors and pushing back against stodgy heavyweights like Jonathan Franzen.

But how much dismissal of Weiner can be attributed to contempt for women’s issues, and how much can be attributed to the fact that her books often have predictable plot arcs and formulaic happy endings?

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