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Rising Voices Fellow Sofia Gardenswartz Reading Grace Paley

Paley’s Power on the Daily

by Sofia Gardenswartz

Last year, my AP English class read the short prose poem “Mother” by Grace Paley. What struck me the most was its mundane nature. This is a characteristic of nearly all of Paley’s work; she wrote in detail about the daily lives of women—a topic that, when she was writing in the 1940’s, was viewed as tangential to the “real” work of male authors writing bestsellers like The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) or The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton). 

Topics: Schools, Poetry

Grace Paley

A rare example of a writer deeply engaged with the world, Grace Paley made an impact as much through her activism as her writing.

Death of anti-violence activist Andrea Dworkin

April 9, 2005

Andrea Dworkin: “I'm a radical feminist, not the fun kind.”

"The Shawl" Front Cover by Cynthia Ozick

Who would Cynthia Ozick’s Edelshtein envy now?

by  Margie Newman

Reading Adam Kirsch’s excellent piece in Tablet on Isaac Bashevis Singer reminded me of my all-time favorite short story, Cynthia Ozick’s “Envy, or Yiddish in America,” wherein the hilariously bitter Edelshtein is obsessed with Yankel Ostrover (a Singer-like figure), consumed by the fact that Ostrover has obtained mainstream adulation through having his Yiddish writing translated into English.  

Topics: Fiction

Grace Paley, 1922 - 2007

But even more, even more than I admired the stories, which was a lot, I admired Grace Paley's activism and her moral courage.

Diana Mara Henry's photographs of the Women's Pentagon Action protest march

November 17, 1980

“We women are gathering because life on the precipice is intolerable,” Women’s Pentagon Action declared in a unity statement before its march from Arlington National Cemetery to the Pentagon on Nov

Unit 2, Lesson 1 - Moments of Personal Resistance

Examine how individuals take stands against racism and injustice using an essay by Grace Paley and three other short vignettes of individual protest.

Remembering Grace Paley

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Today would have been writer and activist Grace Paley's 87th birthday, and since her death two years ago, it's become a day to celebrate her life and legacy.

Topics: Civil Rights

Birth of author Grace Paley

December 11, 1922

Grace Paley, author, feminist and “somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist,” was born on December 11, 1922 in the Bronx.

Writer Grace Paley arrested at Vietnam protest

March 19, 1970

On March 19, 1970, writer and activist Grace Paley was arrested with 181 other individuals for protesting the Vietnam draft in an act of mass civil d

Grace Paley

Paley has written highly acclaimed short stories, poetry, and reflections on contemporary politics and culture.

Poetry in the United States

The contributions of Jewish women poets to American literary history and political activism, as well as to the enrichment of Jewish culture and practice, are astounding.

Fiction in the United States

Literature by American Jewish women reflects historical trends in American Jewish life and indicates the changing issues facing writers who worked to position themselves as Americans, Jews, and women.

Assimilation in the United States: Twentieth Century

Jewish women began to assimilate into American society and culture as soon as they stepped off the boat. Some started even earlier, with reports and dreams of the goldene medine, the golden land of liberty and opportunity. Very few resisted adapting to the language and mores of the United States; those who did often returned to Europe. Well over ninety percent stayed, even those who cursed Columbus’s voyage and subsequent European settlement in North America.

Thinking of Grace

by  Jordan Namerow

With all that's happening in Gaza, and with yesterday's arrests of eight Jewish women who were peacefully protesting outside of the Israeli consulate in Toronto, I can't help but think of Grace Paley.

Topics: Poetry

The Jewesses with Attitude Summer Reading List

by  Lily Rabinoff-Goldman
So, I’m not spending my summer in the Hamptons, on Cape Cod, the Jersey Shore, or any other iconic beach. But like my fellow Jewesses with Attitude bloggers, I am a self-proclaimed “word nerd” and so, in spite of sitting on public buses rather than public beaches, I will be using the long hours of summer to bulk up on my reading (which, not surprisingly, is heavy on the Jewish Women writers).
Topics: Fiction, Poetry

Grace Paley, z”l

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Grace Paley died on Wednesday. She was 84 and had been sick, so it should not have come as a surprise, but when I heard the news I felt a very sharp sense of loss. So I decided I would spend the night with her, reading through my well-worn copy of her Collected Stories, her poems in Begin Again: Collected Poems, and her essays in Just as I ThoughtAnd reading her words made it even harder to believe she’s gone – her stories just radiate life, in all its banality, warmth, irrationality, sadness, and love.

Summer Reading

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Lately I’ve been re-reading the stories of Grace Paley, and no matter how many times I’ve read them, they’re hard to put down. She’s one of my favorite writers, a woman who weaves stories from what she views around her and captures how the most mundane, brief moments (a walk with a friend, moms watching kids in the park) contain everything we need to know about people and the world.

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