Conversations with Grace Paley

Overview

In this collection of interviews from 1978 to 1995 Paley elaborates on the many forces that have influenced her and her writing. In these conversations she reveals not only her triple lives as writer, mother, and political activist but also her perspectives which over the years have become precise and solid. With authority, distinctness, and relentless honesty she speaks out on contemporary issues. She discusses American conditions at large, particularly those that are being neglected or denied. With firm ...
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Overview

In this collection of interviews from 1978 to 1995 Paley elaborates on the many forces that have influenced her and her writing. In these conversations she reveals not only her triple lives as writer, mother, and political activist but also her perspectives which over the years have become precise and solid. With authority, distinctness, and relentless honesty she speaks out on contemporary issues. She discusses American conditions at large, particularly those that are being neglected or denied. With firm authority Paley discusses topics of wide range, many of which she describes as personal discoveries. She includes politics and environmentalism, the family and human relationships, the impact of background and education, the moral importance of community, feminism and women's liberation, the sexual self and role enforcement, America's need for communality and women's creative response to it, the art of teaching, and the importance of friendship. Paley's conversations, like her writings, are refreshingly candid and radically different from the contemporary American mainstream.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617036958
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Series: Literary Conversations Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerhard Bach is a professor of English at Bremen University, Germany, and an adjunct professor of American Studies at Brigham Young University.

Blaine Hall recently retired as English Language and Literature Librarian at Brigham Young University.

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Read an Excerpt

Barry Silesky: What do you think about the contemporary state of feminism? One of my colleagues at work, a woman from Italy who teaches mathematics, said when the word came up, "I'm not a feminist." She made an effort to disassociate herself from that. And I was struck by that. Here's a woman who is single, and heavily engaged in a professional career, and it seemed to me she's only able to be where she is, in large part, because of the women's movement.

Grace Paley: Here again, I think it's an American effort, despite her being European, to refuse the politics of history and thehistory of politics-the way in which their own lives are influenced by political currents. They say, "I'm not part of this wave, it has nothing to do with me," and I think it's painful. It's terrible when it's with older people because they really should know better. But with the kids,it's understandable because kids don't have a strong sense of history.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chronology
Grace Paley Interview 3
Grace Paley 14
Conversation with Grace Paley 26
Interview with Grace Paley 36
Grace Paley: Fragments for a Portrait in Collage 56
Clearing Her Throat: An Interview with Grace Paley 72
Grace Paley 95
A Conversation with Grace Paley 117
PW Interviews Grace Paley 126
Grace Paley, Voice from the Village 131
Grace Paley: A Conversation 135
Grace Paley Talking with Cora Kaplan 146
An Interview with Grace Paley 153
Grace Paley on Storytelling and Story Hearing 163
An Interview with Grace Paley 177
Looking at Disparities: An Interview with Grace Paley 192
An Interview with Grace Paley 204
Grace Paley 213
Grace Paley 226
Grace Paley: An Interview by Joann Gardner 235
Grace Paley 249
Index 269
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