A Story Larger than My Own: Women Writers Look Back on their Lives and Careers

Janet Burroway, Editor
Edited by Janet Burroway. Univ. of Chicago, $18 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-226-01410-4
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
Hardcover - 199 pages - 978-0-226-01407-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-41703-7
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-226-01424-1
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In this engrossing volume edited by Burroway (Raw Silk), 19 accomplished female authors reflect on their careers and offer insights on craft and life. The contributors, all of whom are 60 or older, came of professional age during second wave feminism, confronted the prejudice against women writers of the 1950's and 60's, and continue to publish in the digital age. Those featured represent a wide range of backgrounds and mediums (novels, poetry, and journalism), with selections from Julia Alvarez, Toi Derricote, and Margaret Atwood, among others. Discussing their art, family, process, ambition, and many roadblocks, they look back at the struggles and passion of youth while considering the complex realities of aging. The results are evocative, provocative, pragmatic, lyrical, honest, wry, and witty. (Atwood's laugh-out loud funny, on-point address about the craft of writing is a highlight.) The variety of voices and styles adds up to a mesmerizing tapestry of a generation, made up of both individual experiences and the commonalities between them. Readers of all walks of life will find much to savor here. (Mar.)
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