Is the place of women in the literary world still an urgent issue?
“Watching the outpouring of grief and reflection over the death of Adrienne Rich last week, I admit, to my shame, that I was surprised. Surprised not because of any judgment about Rich’s poetry, which I barely know, but because I had thought of her as an icon of another era. That era, of course, was the era of the women’s movement, of which Rich was a brash troubadour, asserting the value and distinctiveness of women’s experience and lamenting their—our—submission to patriarchy. But when I came of age intellectually, in the 1990s, this mode of expression had fallen out of fashion. In my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was mentored by male and female professors alike who encouraged me to take my place as a student of the literary canon. But I was never directed to read a poem by Adrienne Rich.”
- Ruth Franklin, Why the Literary Landscape Continues to Disadvantage Women
Photo courtesy of The New York Times