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Comment: some wear on the dust jacket. 1st ed 1998.
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Just As I Thought Hardcover – April, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (T); 1st edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374180601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374180607
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,851,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With their loopy sense of humor, pervasive sorrow, and Lower East Side vernacular, Grace Paley's stories have earned her a permanent place in American literature. Now her publisher has collected almost three decades of essays, reviews, and lectures, which amount to cumulative, if oblique, self-portrait. "This is not an autobiographical collection," she writes in her introduction, "but it is about my life." Since Paley's life has encompassed not only literature but a long involvement in politics, there are pungent takes on the women's movement, anti-nuke protests, and Vietnam. Yet she's too hard-headed to write even a single sentence of polemical drivel; her political prose is always personal. Here, for example, she attends a Quaker sit-in at the Seabrook nuclear site: "I'm not very good at Friends meetings. My mind refuses to prevent my eyes from looking at the folks around me, and I'm often annoyed because I can't get the drift of the murmur of private witness. I did hear one young man near me say, 'May your intercession here today be the fruit of our action.' I think this means 'God helps those that help themselves,' a proverb that sounds meaner than it really is." And when it comes to literature and writing, Paley is tremendous. Her short essays on Isaac Babel and Donald Barthelme are themselves worth the price ofpurchase. In Just As I Thought, the author accomplishes exactly what she ascribes to Babel, producing "clarity, presentness, tension, and a model of how always, though with great difficulty, to proceed."

From Publishers Weekly

In this disappointing miscellany of articles, speeches, interviews, prefaces, transcribed talks and a few scattered poems, Paley only occasionally displays the sharply perceptive sparkle of her memorable short story collections (Later the Same Day, etc.). The pieces, written from the mid-'60s through the mid-'90s for magazines as diverse as Ms. and Esquire, are often slight, dated or predictable. Among the notable selections are her frank discussion of her two abortions, her 1974 meeting in Moscow with dissident Andrei Sakharov, her loving appreciation of Russian writer Isaac Babel's short stories and an account of how her mother, traveling by bus to Virginia in 1927, insisted on sitting in the section reserved for blacks. Also included are a polemic against the Gulf war, tributes to such writers as Donald Barthelme and Clarice Lispector, on-site war reportage from North Vietnam and autobiographical sketches about growing up radical in the Bronx during the Depression with socialist Russian Jewish emigre parents. One comes away with the impression that Paley's long-time grass-roots involvement in diverse movements?feminist, antinuclear, environmental, antiwar?reflects a unitary struggle for social justice.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms Edith Shillue on August 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent collection of Grace Paley's journalism and essays, revealing her continued and inspiring political activism. With the same sincerity, frankness and heartfelt committment she shows in her fiction, Paley shows us a world full of activists, ordinary citizens, cops and politicians. She has been involved in anti-war activities since her youth and, now in her later years, shows no signs of closing her powerfully observant eyes. Testimony about her experience in Viet Nam during the American war and after is an important contribution to historical studies. She shows no regret for her activism, which is great relief to this reader (tired as I am of seeing the 60s generation back off from their earlier work) and remains unapologetically truthful. A great inspiration for all women who live and work for 'the people'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of Grace Paley's journey through her life as an activist, a mother, a daughter and a friend. She has lived a truly authentic life. The picture on the back of the book is worth a thousand words.
Read the chapter "Women's Pentagon Action Unity Statement" and stand up when you realize how few of the stated demands have been realized in 21 years. Stand up and join Grace Paley and become a troublemaker.
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By Linda Guillermo on November 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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