New York Woman's Literary Salon

January 1976 Newsletter

Text of the Newsletter:
The Woman's Salon's first reading for the new year will be from an unusual novel, a poetic exploration of the psychology and memories of very old people. Reading will be:


"The Death of Clair" (a section)

Saturday., January 31, at 8 p.m.

Apt. 933B, Westbeth (463 West St.)

Erika's "The Death of Clair," a section from a novel she has just completed, was published in the fall issue of Armadillo. The novel deals with the attempts at closeness and communication which cannot be among the characters, who are all related to each other not only in the present but in the distant past. As their separate lives merge, their earlier relationships are reactivated through the surrealistic resurfacing of the obsessions of their childhoods, helping them to draw towards death re-united with the many lost parts of themselves which will give their lives a meaning that transcends their tragic isolation.

Stylistically, according to Mara Lurie, associate editor at Armadillo, Erika uses two somewhat unusual devices--a repetition and inversion of symbolic imagery and a fusing of first person and third person views. The result, notes Mara, is "a uniquely charged sur- or super- reality which loads the novel with scenes that are alternately vivid, haunting, humorous and weird."

Erika is a writer who has worked closely with Marguerite Young; her critical articles on Marguerite have been published in Changes and in Under the Sign of Pisces, Anais Nin's newsletter published by the University of Ohio Libraries. Erika also wrote the introduction to a series of readings of Miss Maclntosh, My Darling, on WBAI-FM.

Her work will be introduced by Sharon Spencer, author of Space, Time and Structure in the Modern Novel (Swallow Press) and The Space Between, a novel (Harper & Row, 1973). Sharon's book on Anais Nin is to be published by Swallow in the fall of 1976.

As usual, women only are invited to the Salon. Guests are welcome. Please bring a contribution of $1 or so to help us cover the costs of mailing, or contribute some wine or food.

BOOK TABLE: If you have a book or magazine or other publication that you'd like to offer for sale at the January Salon, bring a few copies to display on our book table.

DECEMBER SALON: About forty-five women listened to Lynda Schor read from her collection of short stories, Appetites, just brought out in paperback by Warner Books. Carole Rosenthal, a writer and one of the Salon founders, introduced Lynda and read briefly from Lynne Sharon Schwartz's review of Appetites, published in the January Ms. issue. Salon members shared reactions to the work. Gloria Orenstein announced that we will be looking for a group of women to take over the booking of the Salon readings beginning in Sept. 1976. We hope to find women, like ourselves, who come from a variety of literary backgrounds and who will be willing to carry on the Salon tradition of literary and critical readings. Interested women should contact one of the Salon founders: Gloria, Carole, Marilyn Coffey, Erika Duncan, or Karen Malpede.

WRITING COURSES: Twelve women writers will read and discuss their work in a symposium being offered this January by Pratt Institute in Manhattan. Participating writers and their works are: Marilyn Coffey, Marcella; Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating; Barbara Garson, Macbird and All the Live-Long Day; poet June Jordan, Some Changes; playwright and critic Karen Malpede, A Lament for Three Women and Rebeccah; Kate Millet, Sexual Politics and Flying; Robin Morgan, Monster, editor of Sisterhood is Powerful; Grace Paley, The Little Disturbances of Man and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute; short story writer Carole Rosenthal, anthologized in Woman in the Year 2000; poet Muriel Rukeyser, Breaking Open; Lynda Schor, Appetites; Irene Yarrow, Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down. The course is to run for 15 Mon.-Thurs. sessions, beginning Jan. 4th (6:30-9:30 p.m.). For information, call Carl Craycraft, chairman, Department of English & Humanities, (212) 636-3486.

Most of these writers will participate in a similar course being given this spring as one of several writing courses at the Womanschool, 170 East 70th St., New York 10021. Other courses to be given there include "Writing for Magazines," taught by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, free-lance writer, author of Unlearning the Lie: Sexism in School; "On Wriiting and Publishing Novels," taught by Betty Prashker, editorial director at Doubleday, with three novelists: Sue Kaufman, Diary of a Mad Housewife; Judith Rossner, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Anne Roiphe, Up the Sandbox; "Voyages and Journeys: A Writing Workshop" on autobiographical writing taught by Darcy Gottlieb, No Witness but Ourselves. Courses begin Feb. 23. For information, call director Elaine First Sharpe, (212) 688-4606.

THEATER NOTES: Karen Malpede's play, Rebeccah, will go into rehearsal in the spring with Tina Shephard in the title role. Ellen Maddow and Sybille Hayn will also appear. Tina and Ellen were with the Open Theater; Tina and Sybille acted in Karen's first play, A Lament for Three Women. Tina is currently on tour as Elektra . . . . Viveca Lindfors, actress-producer-writer of the Broadway play I Am a Woman, will teach a spring course, "An Actor Works--A Workshop," at the Womanschool.

MAGAZINE NEWS: The Feminist Art Journal is bringing out a special bicentennial issue--this month, featuring various American women in the arts, including music, architecture, sculpture and painting, according to Cindy Nemser, editor. The cover article is on the Women's Pavilon [sic] of 1876, with original research done by Judith Paine. There is also a feature on 19th century artist Cecilia Beaux, the John Sargent of her time, and a survey of women conductors. On a more contemporary note, Cindy wrote up a conversation with Betye Saar, a black artist whose work has been featured at the Whitney. . . . The new issue of The Little Magazine has a special section on Marilyn Hacker, according to Barbara Damrosch, one of the editors. Marilyn's book of poetry, Presentation Piece, was the Lamont poetry selection for 1974. Irene Yarrow's essay, "Woman Becoming," has been anthologized in The Lesbian Reader (Amazon Press, 395 60th St., Oakland, Calif. 94618). The piece was originally published in Amazon Quarterly. . . . Louise Bernikow's profile of Lily Tomlin has been purchased by Playboy for publication sometime this spring. Louise is writing a novel, Hardcandy. . . . Lesley Pratt's article, "Hatha Yoga for the Athlete," is due out in Womansport soon.

BOOK PUBLICATIONS: Marilyn Coffey's novel, Marcella, is being published as a mass market paperback by Quartet in England this spring. Marilyn plans to spend January in isolation, working on her second novel, One for the Money. . . . Norma Klein's Girls Turn Wives, a feminist novel, is due out in March from Simon and Schuster, says her literary agent, Elaine Markson. Joyce Eliason, author of Fresh Meat/Warm Weather, has a second novel, Laid Out, being published by Harper & Row in April, says Elaine. And a-first for her client Alice Hoffman is the publication of a novel, Property Of, by Farrar Straus & Giroux in June. Susan Yankowitz's novel, Witness, is being published by Knopf in the spring. . . . Andrea Dworkin's Woman Hating is coming out in quality paperback this March--from Dutton, publishers of the hard-cover. . . . A poem-picture book, Little Boat Lighter than a Cork, is being published this month by Magic Circle Press (Publisher, Valerie Harms). Esther Gilman is the illustrator and Ruth Krauss the author.

NEWS NOTES: Carole Rosenthal read her newly-written short story, "A Miracle and Other Solutions," on Margot Adler's show on WBAI-FM. . . . Mimi Conway, a free-lance radical journalist based in Tennessee, has received a grant from the Institute of Investigative Reporting to report on the textile industry in the South. . . . Sheran Hiroms, artist and illustrator for Liberation, has just sold one of her large works, "Window." Sheran's movirng her home-studio in February to 11th St. and 2nd Ave. in the East Village. . . Gloria Orenstein, author of The Theater of the Marvelous: Surrealism and the Contemporary Stage, gave her slide-lecture, "The Women of Surrealism," at the Women's Art Center in San Francisco. Gloria presented the slide-lecture at the November Salon. She is attending the Modern Language Association convention in California. The Association has a strong program on women writers this year; Tillie Olsen was among the speakers.

Marilyn Coffey, Erika Duncan, Gloria Orenstein, Karen Malpede and Carole Rosenthal

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