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Passionate Minds

Women Rewriting the World

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


With a masterful ability to connect their social contexts to well-chosen and telling details of their personal lives, Claudia Roth Pierpont gives us portraits of twelve amazingly diverse and influential literary women of the twentieth century, women who remade themselves and the world through their art.

Gertrude Stein, Mae West, Margaret Mitchell, Eudora Welty, Ayn Rand, Doris Lessing, Anais Nin, Zora Neale Hurston, Marina Tsvetaeva, Hannah Arendt and Mary Mccarthy, and Olive Schreiner: Pierpont is clear-eyed in her examination of each member of this varied group, connectng her subjects firmly to the issues of sexual freedom, race, and politics that bound them to their times, even as she exposes the roots of their uniqueness.

"Pierpont['s] graceful essays are at once erudite and personal in their focus." ?The Boston Globe

"One of the most ceaselessly interesting books I've read in some time." ?Lorrie Moore, The New York Review of Books

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

28 February 2000 – Considering "how ambitious women worked out their destinies in an age of momentous transition," Pierpont scrutinizes 12 well-known 20th-century women in these essays (revised and expanded from their original publication in the New Yorker). In her highly capable hands, these diverse women--writers, philosophers and a movie star--come alive through probing questions about their work and vivid details about their lives. In the first grouping, Pierpont explores "issues of sexual freedom" through the widely varying perspectives of Olive Schreimer, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin and Mae West. The second part, concerned with race, and the third, with politics, cover figures from Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Mitchell and Eudora Welty to Ayn Rand, Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy. Of course, connections and overlapping concerns emerge through the course of these excellent, astute pieces. The most interesting parallels are those that are least expected and those that occur across the borders of nationality, class and medium--such as coincident views of women's power between Arendt and Mitchell, or similar sexual stances on the part of Nin and Rand. In her arrangement of writings, Pierpont raises questions about women's progress through the century: What do these "women of a transitional age" tell us about our own "internal change"? She also defends her subjects from harsh contemporary judgment, "for they had hardly any models to follow, apart from a handful of suicidal literary heroines." Indeed, perhaps this collection's most noteworthy contribution is its levelheaded, sympathetic and unsentimental nature, especially given that the name alone of many of these figures (such as Rand and Nin) can provoke powerful reactions from both admirers and detractors.
Passionate Minds
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  • 119,00 kr
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 07 March 2000
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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