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How to Suppress Women's Writing Paperback – January 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0292724457 ISBN-10: 9780292724457 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; 1 edition (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780292724457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292724457
  • ASIN: 0292724454
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"She didn't write it. She wrote it but she shouldn't have. She wrote it but look what she wrote about. She wrote it but she isn't really an artist, and it isn't really art. She wrote it but she had help. She wrote it but she's an anomaly. She wrote it BUT..." How to Suppress Women's Writing is a meticulously researched and humorously written "guidebook" to the many ways women and other "minorities" have been barred from producing written art. In chapters entitled "Prohibitions," "Bad Faith," "Denial of Agency," Pollution of Agency," "The Double Standard of Content," "False Categorization," "Isolation," "Anomalousness," "Lack of Models," Responses," and "Aesthetics" Joanna Russ names, defines, and illustrates those barriers to art-making we may have felt but which tend to remain unnamed and thus insolvable. With the apparent proliferation of women writers in the last decade, is this book still relevant? Ask yourself how many women you know who are trying to make art? And how many find the time, resources, and support to succeed? So long as poverty, lack of leisure, and sexism - those "powerful, informal prohibitions against committing art" - exist, How to Suppress Women's Writing remains timely. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

Review

A quirky, irreverent, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic piece of work. It catalogues all the various attitudinal problems and misconceptions ...that allow us to disregard or even discard the artistic productions of women. By defining these patterns so clearly and succinctly, Russ holds a mirror before us—a mirror in which we can see ourselves anew. (Annette Kolodny)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By afarmar@iol.ie K.R. Farmar on September 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I won't bore you with a list of superlatives (which would take up this entire review if I did) but I will simply say that Russ's insights into the innumerable subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which women's art is censored or devalued are enraging and empowering, and are expressed with such wit and charm that you could it three times in one day and laugh out loud each time -- I know I did. Read it. Give it to your friends. It will change the way you think.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Katherine A. Keller on November 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Despite Russ' bitingly funny commentary and withering asides, in reading this book I found articulated so many things that I had always known and understood as givens. Women's writings have been systematically devalued, and so have women's contributions to academia. And, barring radical change, these trends will continue. (If nothing else, it explained the [outmoded and loathsome] world view of the English Department at my university.)
An important and eye opening work that should be read by all students and teachers of the Fine and Liberal Arts, but won't be, because, well, a woman wrote it. She wrote it, but...
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jenny M. Raja on January 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read the book (and the online reviews) I must comment that Russ's book is not a personal response to her own situation. Yes SF was male dominated (James Tiptree Jr. was a psuedonym used by a woman in the 50's and '60's so she could get published) but Russ is talking about womens' reception in the literary world in GENERAL. I find it interesting that the two negative reviews are not from people brave enough to sign in - they are also worded in a suspiciously similar fashion. It seems even books about feminist issues will be attacked by men who cannot understand the difference between general, historical issues and personal vendettas. Oye.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book should be handed out to all women who are interested in writing or reading - and to all open-minded men as well, for that matter. An indispensible intellectual tool-kit for tackling the many ways in which prejudice and illogic can cloud supposedly "objective" literary criticism, it's also clear, concise (rare qualities in literary criticism), and very, very, very funny.
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