Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! Five Feminist Footnotes


Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, and in her 41-year life produced literary works that have enjoyed mass popularity and acclaim that only increases over time. Two hundred years ago, as she enjoyed her 37th birthday, Austen would have been anticipating the publication of her second novel, Pride and Prejudice, arguably the most […]

Love in the Land of Filipino People Power


Before the Rain is a romantic memoir set against the backdrop of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines. Author Luisita Lopez Torregrosa is a career-driven newspaper editor in New York who falls in love with a married colleague, Elizabeth. At first, Torregrosa befriends Elizabeth, but the friendship quickly blossoms into a romance. Shortly thereafter, […]

Sex, Drugs and Self-Absorption in Amy Sohn’s “Motherland”


In Motherland, Amy Sohn offers a satirical, cynical look at life among the latte-sipping, Bugaboo-pushing parents of Brooklyn’s Park Slope. The novel, Sohn’s fourth, gets its title from the name one resident gives to this “land of child rearing, and nurturing, and nonstop care,” but Sohn’s six interwoven narratives reveal parents far more concerned with their […]

Jane Austen in Brooklyn


I have shlepped myself to Virginia Woolf’s house in Sussex, and wandered the Yorkshire moors in pursuit of the Brontes’ home (calling “Heathcliff! Heathcliff!” when no one was within hearing). But no writer has launched more trips for me than Jane Austen. I have not only visited several of her homes (the one in Lyme […]

Groundbreaking Autoerotic Novel Returns to Print


Award-winning poet and author Marilyn June Coffey is republishing her groundbreaking novel Marcella, 40 years after it made literary history in 1973 as perhaps the first English work of fiction to use female autoeroticism as a main theme. Marcella tells the story of a young Kansas girl moving into womanhood during World War II. She discovers […]

When We Were Outlaws: An Interview with Jeanne Córdova


Lesbian-feminist movement pioneer Jeanne Córdova has been fabulous for a long time, organizing, agitating, publishing, speaking out. At last, we can get to know her better in her new book, When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution, which garnered a Lammy, a Goldie and a Triangle, making it a triple-crown winner for lesbian writing. […]

Is This A Photo of Emily Dickinson? And Will It Tell Us Who She Loved?


Emily Dickinson’s highly compressed, powerful poems inspire legions of readers, and Dickinson is one of the most widely revered and critically engaged women writers. Dickinson matters, not only to readers but also to scholars. For feminists, however, our understanding of Dickinson as a preeminent poet of the 19th century is only partial. In 1975, poet […]

Ryan Gosling, Feminist?

Ryan Gosling

Most students can recall at least one point in their academic careers when they found themselves secluded in a corner of the library, coffee in hand, cramming for a big test. University of Wisconsin graduate student Danielle Henderson was in a similar situation, struggling to remember and differentiate among numerous feminist theories. So she came up […]

A Zodiac of Lesbian Poets


In 2009, a gay poet wrote to me, “I just don’t think lesbian poetry is that important.” This wounding statement fueled my engines, and I wrote a series of poems in which I placed my favorite poets in the sky as constellations, beginning with “Sappho the Ram,” and ending with “Jackie Kay the Fish.” When […]

Mad for Anachronistic Gender Roles

receptionist cover

In The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker, Janet Groth provides a pleasurable, well-written story about the love of good writing. The storytelling is personal and accessible, yet replete with detail and sparkling turns of phrase. I even had to look up the meaning of a few words. That’s thrilling in a text so charming […]