Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women’s History Month – Week 2

Women's History Month
Special Feature
Week 2

In honor of Women’s History Month we’ve asked authors and illustrators in our booking service to participate in our special questionnaire. Each week we will be posting different member’s responses to the three questions below. We hope you enjoy their answers as much as we did!

1. What women writers do you admire?
2. What women in history would you invite to a dinner party?
3. What advice do you have for young women today?

1. Edith Wharton. Bobbie Ann Mason. The women in my writing group: those yet to be published and those already published, including Kristin Levine, whose novel was just named a NYTimes Editors' Choice!
2. My four great-grandmothers. Though I would probably agonize quite a bit about what to feed them.
3. My advice is to seek out mentors who can help you sort out a path for yourself that will involve financial sustenance, any family or other goals you might have, and lifelong work toward fulfilling your passion. Because really the work and the passion are the same, aren't they?

1. There are so many. Of course, Emily Dickinson, the American poet. She's on my mind because my new book Emily and Carlo celebrates her sixteen-year relationship with her Newfoundland dog, Carlo. I find her poetry so truthful, even though she wrote "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant." I also have a fond place in my heart for the women writers who emerged before and after the Civil War. Especially Harriet Beecher Stowe, for her powerful anti-slavery prose in Uncle Tom's Cabin that might have prompted President Abraham Lincoln to say, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war?" I also love the local colorist Sarah Orne Jewett (The Country of the Pointed Firs) and Kate Chopin (The Yellow Wallpaper).
2. Emily Dickinson, Margaret Thatcher, and Marilyn Monroe. Now, that's a dinner party!
3. Educate yourself, follow your dreams, be self-sufficient, and don't hitch your hopes on any man (even though I've been happily married for 41 years)-perhaps that's why.

1. I am a mystery nut. My favorite women mystery writers are Faye Kellerman and Sarah Paretsky.
2. Probably Ida B. Wells--a revolutionary woman well ahead of her times.
3. Make 40 the new 50. Most women I know learn not to give a damn about others' opinions of them when they turn 50. It's one of the advantages of turning older and gaining a certain level of confidence. So try it at 40; it's liberating to feel secure in your own skin.

1. Edna St. Vincent Millay, Elinor Wylie, Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, Myra Cohn Livingston, Aileen Fisher, and Rachel Field.
2. Dorothy Parker and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
3. Sing, dance, write poetry, make art...follow your heart.

1. Margaret Atwood, Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende, Jodi Picoult, and Julia Alvarez.
2. Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassat, Suzanne Valdon, Paula Modesohn-Becker, Gold Meir, Laura Nyro, Joan Baez, Amelia Earhart, Isadora Duncan, Margaret Sanger, Queen Hatshepsut, Queen Liliuokalani, Dian Fossey, Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Rachel Carson, Harriet Tubman, and Marie LaVeau.
3. Follow your dreams, don't let anyone tell you you can't do something because you are a women, never lose your sense of compassion, do not let anyone else tell you what you should do with your body, treat the planet, animals and other humans with reverence, don't be a slave to fashion and only have a child if you really want one and are prepared to commit to it for the rest of your life.

1. What women writers don't I admire for one reason or another? But Keri Hulme, Gayl Jones, Janette Winterson, Octavia Butler, Linda Hogan and Virginia Hamilton come to mind right away. All of them have some serious brass ovaries to write with such courage!
2. I'd love to have a dinner party with Mary Ann Shad Cary, Alice Dunbar and Sally Hemmings.
3. Listen to the advice of men and women equally but follow your own heart.

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