Passionate minds : women rewriting the world

by Pierpont, Claudia Roth.

Format: Print Book 2000
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS151.P54 2000
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS151.P54 2000
With a masterful ability to connect their social contexts to well-chosen and telling details of their personal lives, Claudia Roth Pierpont gives us portraits of twelve amazingly diverse and influential literary women of the twentieth century, women who remade themselves and the world through their art. Gertrude Stein, Mae West, Margaret Mitchell, Eudora Welty, Ayn Rand, Doris Lessing, Anais Nin, Zora Neale Hurston, Marina Tsvetaeva, Hannah Arendt and Mary Mccarthy, and Olive Schreiner: Pierpont is clear-eyed in her examination of each member of this varied group, connectng her subjects firmly to the issues of sexual freedom, race, and politics that bound them to their times, even as she exposes the roots of their uniqueness. "Pierpont['s] graceful essays are at once erudite and personal in their focus." ?"The Boston Globe ""One of the most ceaselessly interesting books I've read in some time." ?Lorrie Moore, "The New York Review of Books"
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Adventurous critical writing is a New Yorker mainstay and one of its most valuable offerings. Pierpont's vigorous essays on trailblazing twentieth-century women writers epitomize the magazine's high standards. Models of serious engagement, fine writing, and fearless candor, the 12 portraits collected here intertwine literary and social perspectives to reveal how each writer responded to the conflicts that confront women artists and how her work "changed the way people thought and lived." Pierpont employs three interlocking categories. Under sexual freedom, she places the nearly forgotten South African writer Olive Schreiner, Mae West (yes, West wrote; who else could, or would, create the smart and saucy gals she played?), Anais Nin, and Gertrude Stein. Margaret Mitchell, Zora Neale Hurston, and Eudora Welty offer distinct perspectives on race, and politics is the theme explored in profiles of Marina Tsvetaeva, Ayn Rand, Doris Lessing, Hannah Arendt, and Mary McCarthy. --Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Considering "how ambitious women worked out their destinies in an age of momentous transition," Pierpont scrutinizes 12 well-known 20th-century women in these essays (revised and expanded from their original publication in the New Yorker). In her highly capable hands, these diverse women--writers, philosophers and a movie star--come alive through probing questions about their work and vivid details about their lives. In the first grouping, Pierpont explores "issues of sexual freedom" through the widely varying perspectives of Olive Schreimer, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin and Mae West. The second part, concerned with race, and the third, with politics, cover figures from Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Mitchell and Eudora Welty to Ayn Rand, Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy. Of course, connections and overlapping concerns emerge through the course of these excellent, astute pieces. The most interesting parallels are those that are least expected and those that occur across the borders of nationality, class and medium--such as coincident views of women's power between Arendt and Mitchell, or similar sexual stances on the part of Nin and Rand. In her arrangement of writings, Pierpont raises questions about women's progress through the century: What do these "women of a transitional age" tell us about our own "internal change"? She also defends her subjects from harsh contemporary judgment, "for they had hardly any models to follow, apart from a handful of suicidal literary heroines." Indeed, perhaps this collection's most noteworthy contribution is its levelheaded, sympathetic and unsentimental nature, especially given that the name alone of many of these figures (such as Rand and Nin) can provoke powerful reactions from both admirers and detractors. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Women and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century.
English literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Authors, English -- 20th century -- Biography.
Women authors, American -- Biography.
Women authors, English -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Alfred A. Knopf :2000
Distributed by Random House,
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description xiii, 298 pages : portraits ; 25 cm
ISBN 0679431063
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