The Women’s Media Center today published a lively conversation between columnist and author Anna Quindlen and author Robin Morgan, one of the founders of WMC. Here’s the start of it:

Robin Morgan: Anna Quindlen and I have known each other on and off for too long, even though years go by when we don’t actually get to meet. There are writers who you know are wonderful, and there are writers who are wonderful and accessible to lots of people, and there are also writers who honest to God are “writer’s writers,” and it’s very rare that somebody is all three, and Anna is one.

Anna Quindlen: I wouldn’t even be sitting here tonight if it wasn’t for you, Robin. I wrote a column not long ago with the lead about Sisterhood Is Powerful, and how it’s right there on my shelf along with the dictionary, the thesaurus, The Bible, Doctor Spock, all the reference works that I use most often. There’s a whole group of us who are in our fifties who prospered because of women who are in their sixties, and we forget that at our peril. My enduring motto as a reporter and a columnist has always been “Rise up, reach down.”

I got to The New York Times when I was only twenty-four years old, and I thought, “Wow this is great, they hired me from The Post, I must really be good.” And I was maybe four or five months in the job when I realized, “Okay, there was a law suit.” There was a class action suit brought by six women who did not prosper because of that suit, but who made it possible for me to be hired and showcased, and eventually for Jill Abramson to be managing editor, for Gail Collins to be editorial page editor, for Suzanne Daly to be national editor and so forth. We have changed the business.

The duo go on to talk about everything from the first protest against the Miss America Pageant to Hillary Clinton’s chances as a presidential candidate.

“She would still be so much a better president than anyone I can think of, than anyone in recent memory,” says Quindlen “But it’s a classic female thing — I keep wishing she was perfect. I don’t ask Barack Obama to be perfect. I don’t ask John Edwards to be perfect. But with Hillary, part of my mind says, ‘I wanted all the moving parts to move exactly the way I want them to go.'”

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