New York Woman's Literary Salon

September-October 1977 Newsletter

Text of the Newsletter:

The Woman's Salon Presents Victorian Murderesses Pacifist Pickpockets

Readings and talks will be:
by Mary Hartman and Barbara Fisher Perry
on Saturday, October 29 at 7 PM
463 Neat Street. Apt. 933B (Duncan)
Westbeth between Bank and Bethune Streets

Mary S. Hartman's book, VICTORIAN MURDERESSES, deals with the lives of thirteen women in the Victorian period (1840's to 1890's) from France and England who were accused of murdering their husbands, lovers, children, and others. This revolutionary study describes the lives of ordinary women and the kinds of social consequences that arose from the strains they were obliged to live under. It was published last year by Shocken and has received wide acclaim. The shifting pattern in the murders, the style of murder, and the motivation displays the changing problems that women faced throughout the century. Mary Hartman is now at work on a new book called "The State of Womanhood"

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Mary S. Hartman is an Associate Professor of History at Douglass College and president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

Mother Mandelbaum, whose story will form the second half of our program, is the most important criminal fence America has produced. Before the mafia, she single-handedly fenced more goods than anybody had ever fenced. She also ran a school for pickpockets, bank robbers, and only dealt with non-violent criminal offenses. A German Jewish immigrant, she operated in New York City from 1849 to 1884, rescuing women from the alternative horrors of starvation or prostitution and child pickpockets from Fagan type oppressors.

Barbara Fisher Perry writes books on health care, juvenile justice and children's books. CARE WITHOUT CARE her study of conditions for the poor in New York Hospitals was published several years ago by Avon. She has directed Ten Penny Players since 1967 and publishes limited editions of children's books under that name.

As usual women only are invited to the Salon. Guests are welcome. Remember the social hour now begins at 7 and the reading starts promptly at 8. Members please renew your subscriptions if they have expired, and if you are unable to join please bring $1.50 to help us cover costs. As always our book table will be in operation, Please bring any books, magazines, or other publications which you might like us to sell or display.

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The Mermaid and The Minotaur
Sat. Sept. 12, at 7:00

Our November Salon will celebrate the paperback publication of THE MERMAID AND THE MINOTAUR by Dorothy Dinnersteln, a book which argues against a male conspiracy theory about what is wrong with our gender arrangements and shows how many of the tensions and inequities between men and women arise inexorably from the central fact that early childhood is spent under female auspices. In the New York Times Book Review Vivian Gornick wrote: "Every now and then a book comes along that speaks eloquently through feminism to the history of organized human life (Dinnerstein) sees the world about to go up ecological smoke and she makes a fine case for the relationship between the sexes . To the very largest degree this book is exciting and valuable and belongs in every permanent library of feminist thought ... Dinnerstein writes beautifully, often eloquently, and she argues brilliantly. Her intellegence is poetic, and her imagination is informed by a respect for systematic thought.

Dorothy Dinnerstein has worked at Rutgers University in Newark for 18 years. Her professional interests are divided between a laboratory examination of cognitive processes (perception, memory) and psychoanalytically oriented social philosophical analysis of human life.

Since Dorothy Dinnerstein requested a round table discussion as the format for her presentation, we have invited two psychoanalysts involved in the Salon to participate. One is Florence Volkman Pincus, mother of Salon Founder Erika Duncan.

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(Since Mother-daughter relations will be one of the areas of focus, this seemed an appropriate gesture.) The other will be Paula Bromberg who has been a Salon member from the start. Both are feminist psychotherapists and practising psychoanalists for whom private practice is a primary focus.

Florence Volkman Pincus is also a training analyst and charter member of The Association of Women Psychologists. She is a founder and for the past three years National Coordinator of Psychologists For Social Action. For four years she was involved with rap groups for Vietnam veterans and is now working with children of survivors of the holocaust in similar groups. She was part of the psychological defense in the trial of The Gainesville Eight and worked as a psychological consultant in the child-development program in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. She has also directed community mental health programs in the Chicago ghettos.

Paula Bromberg's approach is psychoanalytic psychotherapy and ego-developmental psychology. She is on the Executive Board of the Gestalt Institute and is training as an Ego-Psychologlst at The Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy. She is a founding member of Identity House, a consultant for Woman's Psychology Collective, a founding member and on the Executive Board of The Association of Gay Psychologlsts and works with New York Radical Feminists.

THE END OF WAR, by Salon Founder Karen Malpede will be opening on Nov. 10. For reservations contact New Cycle Theater, 657 Fifth Ave. Brooklyn 788-7098 - Productions will be Nov. 10 to December 11.

Our opening Salon for this season was in honor of Judy Chicago and her Dinner Party Project. The response to this first Salon far surpassed our expectations, and we found ourselves with such a large audience that visibility and acoustics were poor, creating a high level of frustration for all involved. Judy asked us to convey her apologies for her impatience and we of the Salon are working on arrangements to make things more comfortable for our growing audience. We will try to have a sound system by the next Salon. We recognize that in our enthusiasm for what we have been doing we have sometimes overlooked the needs of our audience. We apologize and ask you to bear with us while we try to change things.

The September issue of BOOK FORUM is devoted to the literary life with feature articles with five Salon members. Box 126 Rhinecliff, N.Y. 12574. Feminist Typing Service: For Information contact Janet Appleman 624-0980 or Judy Waterman at 255-7890.

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