Gloria Steinem spent another summer
at Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat overlooking Puget Sound, working on her memoir.

Steinem read an unfinished chapter from "America: As if Everyone Mattered" during a fundraiser for the retreat, which has hosted "1,000 women writers from all over the world in all genres, ethnicities and levels of writing experience since its inception 19 years ago," according to the Ballard News-Tribune.

Much of the book is about "discovering how little I knew, how much I want to know, and how much I need to know about the history I’m walking on," Steinem said.

The excerpt was a history lesson in itself, but also a stark realization of how much Native American culture is unknown and untaught. A subsequent piece delved into the impact Native American women had on the early women’s suffrage movement.

"Feminism is memory," Steinem said. "Hopefully it will spark someone’s interest in how little we know and why…"

Why the need for Hedgebrook? "As a country, we have not invested enough in artists or writers, especially women," said Hedgebrook’s co-founder Nancy Nordhoff. "There are a lot of women out there and we want to catch those stories."

The New York Times interviews Mary Gordon, author of most recently "Circling My Mother: A Memoir"
and the outgoing chair of the English department at Barnard
College, about her writing and literary ambition. Other tidbits: Gordon does not think Hillary
Clinton is electable. Her dog is named Rhoda, after the fictional Rhoda
who lives upstairs from Mary Richards on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
Says Morgan: "She was funny, and she didn’t allow you to take yourself
too seriously, and she was always there. And now I can say, ‘Here we
are, Mary and Rhoda.’"

Here’s another quick round-up of books aimed at readers over 40.
Naomi Rand considers "This Old Spouse: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to
Restoring, Renovating, and Rebuilding Your Relationship," "Over the
Hill and Between the Sheets: Sex, Love, and Lust in Middle Age," and
"Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between
Adult Children and Parents."

"Should we return to a world where little boys brave risk and danger
in childhood games while girls are content with sugar and spice and
everything nice? Are we ‘feminizing’ boys in our modern, technological
world, denying their true manly nature?"’ Caryl Rivers, author of
"Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women" and a journalism
professor at Boston University, ponders the questions raised by the
release of "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

"Saying No is one of the juiciest ‘symptoms’ of this new stage
of growing up. And not showing up is — along with telling off those
who offend me — one of the unexpected benefits of learning to say No,"
writes Suzanne Braun Levine, author of "Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood."

Christine

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  • Faith Childs August 10, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Hedgebrook is a sanctuary for women writers on a tiny island in Puget Sound. A residency there validates and stimulates the creative experience. My time there a few years ago was treasured. I, too, am eager to read more of Steinem’s book.

    Reply
  • naomi dagen bloom August 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    what a pleasure to read mary gordon’s responses to the prickly deborah solomon. gordon is so much in a different place–now i really want to read her new book–that i wanted to ask solomon if she’d just leave the room so i could talk to mary.

    Reply