Dear Fury, I know your column is for writers with writer problems, and I’m not sure my problem falls into this category, though I’m writer with a problem. Hopefully, you’ll find it worthy of your scrutiny. Here goes: I’m a writer involved with a non-writer. This is a new paradigm for me, as I’ve always been preternaturally disposed to date other writers. Something that has not served me well. For the first time, the person I’m romantically involved with supports my writing. He is not in competition with me and/or my writing. The problem is not my writer, but the [Read more...]
Ed. Note: This opinion piece is reprinted from Talking Writing with the permission of the author and publisher. Q: Don’t male authors get asked dumb questions, too? A: Well…yes. And no. Pity the female writer. Not only is she less likely to get reviewed in major magazines and short-listed for prizes, she often finds herself on the receiving end of interview questions that would leave most of us mouthing three little letters: WTF? My frustration with author interviews came to a head last November, when Terry Gross interviewed Hilary Mantel on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Mantel has won the [Read more...]
Dear Fury, The MFA decision date is nearing, and I’m choosing between two great programs – in many ways, a lucky predicament. The “Nearly Perfect Fit” School is close-ish to where I currently live and I’ve recently enjoyed a full-fledged visit. The “Less-perfect But Still Very Good Fit” School is farther away, and due to financial constraints, I’ve only been able to Skype and talk on the phone with faculty members. However, when I visited “NPF” School, I picked up a *vibe* from one of the older male faculty members. A “creeper” vibe. He wasn’t outright “hitting on” me, whatever [Read more...]
Dear Fury, I am thirty. And I want to have a baby. But everyone tells me that I should wait until I’ve published a book to have a baby. This doesn’t make me want a baby any less. I want a baby because I’ve always seen becoming a mother as a huge piece of who I am in this world. Everyone tells me I won’t have time to write if I have a baby, and that my writing should in fact BE my “baby.” My writing is work — yes, work that I love — but it has yet to [Read more...]
Dear Fury #2: Besides, it’s that wounded look in our partners’ eyes that reminds us we’re all despicable people at heart.
Dear Fury, I’m a writer who’s about to marry a non-writer. My female writer-friends are urging me to get a prenup. Two of these friends have practically demanded I do so. One is much older and locked in a marriage she can’t leave without losing everything financially. The other has been engaged in an endless battle with her ex over the custody of their children, and also is greatly angered by the fact she was forced by the court to make a large payment to her ex-husband (a non-writer) because she completed a novel while they were married that will [Read more...]
Dear Fury, I’ve been super hot for a guy in my poetry workshop (MFA, if you want to know). My question is: is the workshop an appropriate forum in which to submit the many love poems I’ve been writing for him? Will he know it’s him? Should I code it? Do you think all writing is autobiographical? I should say our professor is a sexist piece of shit who only teaches male texts. If I so as much mention the female libido, I’ll be squashed before my peers. But I want to workshop these poems. And I want this male-poet [Read more...]
Immediately following President Obama’s reelection, news sources proclaimed ‘The Establishment GOP is Dead’. It was almost like they were a bit nostalgic for it, every week a more outlandishly offensive scandal than the last. But while Republican candidates kept sliding more to the right to appease a supposedly conservative base, the rest of us have been witnessing and actively abetting the collapse of the Establishment. But whom do we really mean when we say ‘The Establishment’? And what do our conceptions of the ‘old guard’ still have to show us? The image I keep returning to is that of the [Read more...]
We are the 70% (or is it 17%?) VIDA has yet to embark on an official count of the number of women playwrights whose work is staged in American theatres, but every few months a new study on gender parity reveals that approximately 17% of plays produced in the United States are written by women. Although this percentage has increased from roughly 7% in the 1970s, the numbers have not changed much in recent years. Last week’s announcement of the Guthrie Theatre’s 2012-13 season, a line-up written and directed almost entirely by white men (Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre, is a [Read more...]
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to write. While many of my school friends dreamed of futures as movie stars or sports heroes or rich housewives, I was dreaming of becoming a writer, of living in a small, well-worn apartment in some city-er city than my own. Before I ever had my own desk, I would pull a chair up to my white wicker dresser, spread out my pens and paper, and write: novels, poems, plays, whatever. But by twelve I stopped dreaming, stopped being proud of my intellect and creativity. I made a very conscious, yet very confusing, [Read more...]
Women and Children First! Why anyone who cares about gender and literature should pick up a children’s book. Now.
The first time I heard that Judy Blume is one of the most censored/challenged American authors of all time, I laughed. I was about fifteen. “Judy Blume? As in, the Judy Blume?” I didn’t believe it. You couldn’t walk through my middle school library without tripping over a copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. “Yes,” my mother said. “She’s controversial because, among other things, she wrote about a girl getting her period.” I knew this. I had read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. a couple of years before. “So what? They banned her book?” I was [Read more...]