writer_on_her_work“The Writer on Her Work is a collection which belongs on many reading lists, beside the bed, in the library, alongside the desk, in the classroom, in the bag that holds the notebooks and manuscripts.” Adrienne Rich

Seventeen acclaimed novelists, poets, and writers of nonfiction — Anne Tyler, Joan Didion, Mary Gordon, Nancy Milford, Honor Moore, Michele Murray, Margaret Walker, Susan Griffin, Alice Walker, Ingrid Bengis, Toni Cade Bambara, Erica Jong, Maxine Hong Kingston, Janet Burroway, Muriel Rukeyser and Gail Godwin — explore how they have become writers, why they write, and what it means to be a woman and a writer.

From Janet Sternburg’s Introduction: “The woman writer as we’ve stereotypically known her has been many things: recluse, sufferer, woman in mauve velvet on a chaise, woman who flees the stifling rooms of her father’s house, adventuress, “free” woman of multiple love affairs, paragon of productivity, destroyer of others, more often of herself. The images are all too familiar – away with them. In their place, I suggest we picture a woman (of whatever age) sitting (at a desk, on a bench in the playground, on a bus…) with paper in front of her and a pen in her hand. No more. But no less. That woman is asking herself questions. They are the questions of all writers – form and craft, value and meaning, relationship and identity.”

More Praise for The Writer on Her Work: Volume I

“Tough, humorous, graceful, caring and joyful.” Washington Post

“A compelling and superbly crafted collection…It speaks to the active creative spirit.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“Groundbreaking . . . a landmark.” Poets & Writers Magazine

“This collection is my idea of inspirational reading . . . It has the intimacy of a journal and the energy of a rally . . . intensely moving stories.” Vogue

“Personal, moving . . . an excellent guide to the voice and texture of recent women’s literature.” Library Journal

“These essays have a rich fragrance of life . . .” Denver Post