Kamala Das (1934 – 2009), the Indian author and poet, was far ahead of her time. Even after her death, her words continue to hold much of relevance for Indian women — and perhaps for women across the world.
In addition to her poetry, she was known for her short stories as well as her autobiography, My Story. Here we’ll explore quotes from My Story, a book both widely admired as well as controversial.
Kamala Das (later known as Kamala Surayya) believed in living life on her own terms, and this reveals itself in her writings. Her confessional poetry style wasn’t one readily adopted by Indian poets, least of all women. Her English poetry has been compared to that of Anne Sexton’s and won her recognition and literary awards during her lifetime. Read More→
By Nancy Snyder | On June 10, 2022 | Updated August 20, 2022 | Comments (0)
The selection of quotes by bell hooks presented here are arranged by her favored themes of a new vision of love; the intersection of race, patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism, demonstrate how these elements determine lives and the hope that comes with resistance.
When the extraordinarily prolific and brilliant writer bell hooks passed away in December 2021, she left behind a tremendous gift for her countless readers: a legacy of thirty adult non-fiction works that will satisfy every reader of this deep thinker and cultural commentator.
While researching the life of bell hooks, I discovered the wisdom in her work that provides the potential to change every reader’s life and perspective. Read More→
By Melanie P. Kumar | On January 18, 2022 | Updated August 21, 2022 | Comments (2)
There are hugely influential writers who inspire others within their lifetimes, and Joan Didion ( 1934 – 2021 ) was certainly one of them. But it’s after her passing that everything she wrote seems to resonate even more, because we realize that there will be no further words of wisdom. This selection of quotes by Joan Didion highlights her unique talent at examining life — its joys, sorrows, and challenges.
In her tribute to Joan Didion upon her passing, Nancy Snyder wrote, “Joan Didion had her sublime sentences filled with a myriad of details to convey her personal and wholly authentic stories. She wrote about nearly every cultural and political upheaval that transformed the U.S. from the 1960s to the present day.”
Another, equally significant part of Didion’s writing is her observations on day-to-day things in a way that many of us already think about. But the manner in which she expressed them was anything but commonplace. She faced tragedies, like the loss of a beloved husband and a daughter, with words that cannot help but move. Read More→
By Taylor Jasmine | On May 13, 2021 | Updated August 27, 2022 | Comments (0)
From the time of her classic essay, “Notes on Camp” (1963), Susan Sontag was launched into the position of one of America’s premier public intellectuals. Nearly every line she wrote or spoke was quotable, so it’s a great challenge to choose a selection of quotes by Susan Sontag for a post that’s reasonable in length; here, we’ve attempted such a feat.
Achieving fame (and sometimes notoriety) in multiple forms of media — essays, fiction, film, and more — Sontag seemed to embrace her role as provocateur. Susan Sontag pastel portrait at right by Juan Bastos.
In her biography of Susan Sontag on this site, Nancy Snyder writes that she “achieved what was believed to be impossible for any American writer: she could easily pontificate on structuralist philosophy and on the history of interpretation — subjects not widely embraced in American culture — yet Sontag easily made the crossover from the inaccessible intellectual into the realm of established literary star.” Read More→
By Nancy Snyder | On April 9, 2021 | Updated August 27, 2022 | Comments (1)
To contemplate a quote, or a line from one of Susan Sontag’s (1930 – 2004) many essays or novels, will invariably have the reader pause and read the line or paragraph again. Quotes by Susan Sontag have the capability to change the reader’s perception about how we view our lives — especially in regards to art and our own cultural limitations and vanities.
My own literary daydream has been to visit a bookstore, most likely The Strand on Broadway and 12th Street in New York City, and Sontag would be my guide as we strolled the aisles.
Sontag’s commitment to literature and art has made an imprint on my life. In my daydream, Sontag would be the one doing all of the talking — I could only contribute my appreciation with a nodding of my head. Read More→