In her lifetime of sixty-nine years, bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins, September 25, 1952 – December 15, 2021) became internationally recognized and highly acclaimed as a prolific writer, beloved poet, university professor, public intellectual, social activist, and cultural critic.
Her legacy of written work (which included forty books) and her contributions to the public discourse on the intersectionality of race, gender, love, feminism, and capitalism is inestimable.
Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale stated, “Her impact extended far beyond the United States; many women from all over the world owe her a great debt.” Read More→
I became aware of novelist and poet Ruth Moore (July 21, 1903–December, 1989) while vacationing in Maine. Walking through a parking lot in Acadia National Park, I spotted a bumper sticker: “I Read Ruth Moore.” That’s how many people learn of Ruth Moore. Like me, they spot one of the three hundred bumper stickers spread around eastern Maine by publisher Gary Lawless and then they begin to investigate.
What they’ll find out is that Moore was a best-selling novelist (her second novel, Spoonhandle, spent 14 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, along with George Orwell and Somerset Maugham, when it was published in 1946).
They’ll learn that Moore was born on a small island off the coast of Maine, and in the course of her life published numerous novels that portrayed the “wonderful, real folks” of coastal Maine and, in the words of one reviewer, “rounded them out into a community, so we see them not so much as individuals, but as a whole.” Read More→
Natalia Ginzburg (July 14, 1916 – October 7, 1991) is considered among the best Italian writers of the post-World War II generation. Her vast literary legacy of novels, essays, plays, and nonfiction captures the devastation endured by war survivors.
In her works, the reader is struck by the imagery and near lyricism as she describes the mundane details and personal catastrophes that define life under political oppression. It has been said of Ginzburg that she “wrote like a man,” given that she was unsentimental in portraying the historic, violent traumas she witnessed. Read More→
Vera Caspary (1899-1987) was an American novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Over the course of her long and prolific career, she became known as a writer of crime fiction, though she created works in other genres.
She had more than twenty novels published (plus others left unpublished), the best known of which remains Laura (1943). She also wrote long short stories and novellas, not to mention numerous screenplays for Hollywood films, some based on her own works.
Many of her works featured young, forward-thinking women (then called “career girls”) who fought for female autonomy and equality, and refused male protection. Read More→
Sydney Taylor (born Sarah Brenner; October 30, 1904 – February 12, 1978) was an American author best known for All-of-a-Kind Family. This series of autobiographical children’s novels portrays the life of an Eastern European Jewish immigrant family in New York City in the early twentieth century.
Though she wrote several other children’s novels, the five books in the All-of-a-Kind Family series proved to be her lasting legacy, earning a devoted audience for their warm and loving depiction of Jewish life in early twentieth-century America. Read More→