From Library Journal
In contrast to the first volume of Written by Herself (LJ 12/92), which showcased the singular achievements of American trailblazers in a variety of fields, this second volume of women's memoirs is concerned with the ways that women have engaged the forces of social and political change around the world. Conway (True North, Knopf, 1994) has selected the autobiographical excerpts with an eye for expedient storytelling rather than comely prose, and her editing is merciless. Her choices of British, African, and Indian women are strongest, including Vera Brittain's moving account of the devastation of her generation in World War I; Elspeth Huxley's portrait of a changing African through a child's eyes; the activist Ruth First's powerful South African prison narrative; and Meena Alexander's exquisite "broken geography" of her cosmopolitan memory. The "postcolonial" American selections (by Vivian Gornick, Gloria Wade-Gayles, and Edith T. Mirante) are more uneven. Together, however, the volumes form an excellent starting point for group discussion and schools in exploring the rich contribution and consciousness of women of vastly different backgrounds.?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
In this powerful new collection, the author of two of the most celebrated memoirs in recent years presents the autobiographical writings of 14 of her English-speaking predecessors and contemporaries. The women who tell their stories in Written By Herself, Vol. II
represent three generations, four continents, and a range of experience that is equaled only by the diversity with which they transform life into literature.
Here are England's Vera Brittain, commemorating the deaths of the men she loved in the carnage of World War I; Emma Mashinini, who endured imprisonment and torture as a labor organizer in South Africa; Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the daughter of Indian aristocracy who became an architect of her country's independence; and Edith Mirante, the wisecracking American whose passion for justice took her to the opium trails of Burma. Collected in this stirring volume, their voices demonstrate the ways in which women strive for power, inclusion, and autonomy-- and never fail to move, inspire, and instruct us.
Contributors include: Margery Perham,Isak Dinesen,Shudha Mazumdar,Vivian Gornick, Vera Brittain, Elspeth Huxley, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Gloria Wade-Gayles, Angelica Garnett, Emma Mashinini, Meena Alexander, Edith Mirante, Mary Benson, and Ruth First.