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Women authors

A Dream Preferred

By Anaïs Nin (1903–77), from diary entries written in March 1947 in New York City. Trapeze, an unexpurgated section of Nin’s diaries spanning from 1947 to 1955, was published this…

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Fighting Dirty

By Anne Garréta, from Not One Day, which was published this month by Deep Vellum. Garréta is a French novelist and a member of the Oulipo. Not One Day chronicles…

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Ex Post

Reading fan mail doesn’t swell your head, though it often startles by extremes: “You are my friend, Annie Dillard, you are my true fucking friend.” Of course you never hear…

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The Mother of All Questions

I gave a talk on Virginia Woolf a few years ago. During the question-and-answer period that followed it, the subject that seemed to most interest a number of people was…

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Ways of Being Silent

from the archive 50 years ago in Harper’s Magazine Literary history and the present are dark with silences: the years-long silences of acknowledged greats; the ceasing to publish after one…

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Bad Romance

Last August 3, in Boulevard, California, a man named James Lee DiMaggio invited his friend’s wife and son to his home, killed them, shot their dog, and rigged incendiary wire on…

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Regarding the Fame of Others

From previously unpublished excerpts of a 1978 interview with Susan Sontag by Jonathan Cott. An edited version of the interview appeared in the October 4, 1979, issue of Rolling Stone.…

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Making a Scene

Discussed in this essay: The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout. Knopf. 720 pages. $37.50. From an early age Willa Cather had a talent…

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July 2005