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Wednesday, November 4, 2015



I skim the NY Times' "By the Book" interview every week and I am so often disappointed when authors I respect are asked to list their favorite writers and their lists are almost all white men.  There are so many cool women writers and writers of color; I think you've got to actually deliberately not reading them if you can only come up with a bunch of white guys.  I also think this kind of interview is a great opportunity to give some attention to writers who folks maybe haven't heard of yet.  So I've sometimes just abruptly stopped reading the interview because I am so disgusted with interviewees who aren't self-aware or politically aware or tuned in enough to actually know of and/or mention a non-white male writer.  Frankly, if a male writer demonstrates that he isn't interested in women's stories at all, then I'm not really interested in his stories.

So I was heartened to read Steinem's list.  It provides an important corrective.  I mean, I wouldn't have expected any less from Steinem, but still, it's a great interview.  Here's an excerpt that could be the reading list for a couple of semesters of WGS courses:

"And whom do you consider specifically to be the best contemporary feminist writers?

Best is comparative; unique is the point. Think of bell hooks, Robin Morgan, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, Catharine MacKinnon, Ann Jones, Lynn Nottage, Jo Freeman, Anne Lamott, Angela Davis, Diana E. H. Russell, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Naomi Klein, Patricia Williams, Barbara Ehrenreich, Kimberle Crenshaw, Nick Kristof, Rebecca Traister, Charles Blow, Roxane Gay, Katha Pollitt, Suzanne Braun Levine, Courtney Martin, Michael Kimmel, Salamishah Tillet, Amy Richards, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Rebecca Solnit, Michelle Goldberg, Lena Dunham — and more. Plus many we have lost, from Audre Lorde and Andrea Dworkin to Marilyn French."

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