Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism

Overview

Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this brilliant, insightful, controversial, and courageous book contains the best of Pollitt's pieces, which have galvanized readers of The Nation, The New Yorker and The New York Times, on subjects that range from abortion and breast implants to date-rape, marriage, the media, and violence.

Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this brilliant, insightful, controversial, and courageous book contains...

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Overview

Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this brilliant, insightful, controversial, and courageous book contains the best of Pollitt's pieces, which have galvanized readers of The Nation, The New Yorker and The New York Times, on subjects that range from abortion and breast implants to date-rape, marriage, the media, and violence.

Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this brilliant, insightful, controversial, and courageous book contains the best of Pollitt's pieces, which have galvanized readers of The Nation, The New Yorker and The New York Times, on subjects that range from abortion and breast implants to date-rape, marriage, the media, and violence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Katha Pollitt writes the liveliest, smartest general essays on women's issues today. (They're awfully good on America, too.) Relief -- that someone is finally saying it -- is one of the many pleasures that Pollitt invariably gives me. Brave. funny, commonsensical, morally right on, she's almost always right." -- Susan Sontag

"Katha Pollitt's essays are so brilliant that I had to rub my eves from time to time as I read them. When she finishes with a subject, there really isn't anything more to say -- except, 'Thanks, Katha, for clearing that up!'"

-- Barbara Ehrenreich

She asks "Who's Afraid of Hillary Clinton?," considers the Smurfette Principle and explains why she hates "Family Values." She takes aim at nineteen targets in all. Her pieces delight by their language -- the mastery that won a National Book Critics Circle Award for her first book of poem -- and her refusal, ever, to be ponderous.

"A thoughtful and brilliant woman ... These essays are a joy to read." -- alice Adams

"It is a great pleasure to have this gathering oF' Katha Pollitt's work. Her intelligence is always relentless, always bracing, while always; maintaining a wonderful lightness. She is the gin-and-Campari of the women's movement." -- Mary Gordon

"Lucid, gutsy, funny and just, Katha Pollitt is easily my favorite essayist at work today. I read everything she writes and consider this collection a treasure." -- Phyllis Rose

"Katha Pollitt's essays are fine, fierce, well-informed and mind-changing. Anyone would be proud to have her good head and good heart on their side."

-- Gloria Steinem

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pollitt, a prize-winning poet whose incisive political and social commentary appears in the Nation and other journals, here gathers previously published works that have in common a ``concern for women's entitlement to full human rights.'' She brings a lively wit and considerable erudition to analyzing topics ranging from date rape to media-bashing of Hillary Clinton, and she consistently sees past the ephemeral quality of specific newsmaking events to locate issues of enduring importance. For example, in her 1987 essay about the famous Baby M case, Pollitt focuses not on the characters and morals of Mary Beth Whitehead and William and Elizabeth Stern but on the nature of the transaction between them, ``an inherently unequal relationship involving the sale of a woman's body and a child.'' One wishes only that Pollitt had taken the occasion of book publication to supply the sources of her data or to direct the reader to the salient passages in the works she cites. These, however, are minor lapses in a collection of major interest. Aug.
Library Journal
Poet and journalist Pollitt's book is a collection of witty, enlightening, and highly entertaining essays and social commentary on how events concerning women-the Lorena Bobbit case, the Baby M case, and the William Kennedy Smith trial-are portrayed by the media. From prochoice to menopause, "family values" to Hillary Clinton, Pollitt takes her readers on an interesting tour of the milieu in which women are judged in American society: judged for being feminist, judged for wanting to keep their babies even after signing a surrogacy contract, judged for being raped. Although all these essays are about current events as they pertain to women's issues, Pollitt's views will have a wider appeal than to women alone. The title may limit the potential audience, but this book deserves a wide readership because of the humor and intelligence with which Pollitt delivers her views. Recommended for larger public libraries and women's studies collections.-Patricia A. Sarles, FDR H.S. Lib., Brooklyn
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679762782
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: Vintage
  • Edition description: 1 VINTAGE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,448,772
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Katha Pollitt

Katha Pollitt is a poet, essayist, and columnist for The Nation. She has won many prizes and awards for her work, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for her first collection of poems, Antarctic Traveller; two National Magazine Awards for essays and criticism; and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Whiting foundations. She is also the author of Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories and Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time. She lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
That Survey: Being Wedded Is Not Always Bliss 3
Children of Choice 11
Why We Read: Canon to the Right of Me... 16
Violence in a Man's World 26
Why I Hate "Family Values" 31
Marooned on Giliigan's Island: Are Women Morally Superior to Men? 42
Contracts and Apple Pie: The Strange Case of Baby M 63
On the Merits 81
Naming and Blaming: Media Goes Wilding in Palm Beach 85
Checkbook Maternity: When Is a Mother Not a Mother? 100
Hot Flash 111
Who's Afraid of Hillary Clinton? 115
The Romantic Climacteric 124
Our Right-to-Lifer: The Mind of an Antiabortionist 134
Lorena's Army 145
Implants: Truth and Consequences 149
The Smurfette Principle 152
Not Just Bad Sex 157
Fetal Rights, Women's Wrongs 169
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