With firm authority Paley discusses topics of wide range, many of which she describes as personal discoveries. She includes politics and environmentalism, the family and human relationships, the impact of background and education, the moral importance of community, feminism and women's liberation, the sexual self and role enforcement, America's need for communality and women's creative response to it, the art of teaching, and the importance of friendship.
Grace Paley is a "writer's writer," admired by both scholars and the reading public for her originality and unique voice. In this first book-length study of her work, Jacqueline Taylor explores the source of Paley's originality, locating it in the way Paley transforms language to create strongly woman-centered stories. Drawing on interviews with the author, as well as the stories themselves, Taylor emphasizes Paley's awareness that women's voices have been muted and their stories ignored or left untold in our culture's male-oriented dominant discourse. She watches Paley in the process of reshaping language at both the semantic and narrative levels to make it express women's perceptions and experiences. In Paley's stories, it becomes possible to ignore traditional heroic and dramatic themes and instead talk about women and children in such everyday settings as the playground, the kitchen, and the grocery store. Some of the specific techniques Paley uses to accomplish this include identifying and repudiating sexist language in the dominant discourse and redefining ordinary words from the perspective of women. At the narrative level, Taylor reveals how she draws on women's oral traditions to tell open-ended stories that resist rigid beginning-middle-and-end structuring. This transformed language enables Paley to construct a social world where woman-centered meanings can flourish. In her nontraditional stories, no single narrator or version of events dominates. Anyone can be a storyteller and no one has the last word.
One of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2017" A Grace Paley Reader compiles a selection of Paley’s writing across genres, showcasing her breadth of work as well as her extraordinary insight and brilliant economy of words. "A writer like Paley," writes George Saunders, “comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up.” Best known for her inimitable short stories, Grace Paley was also an enormously talented essayist and poet, as well as a fierce activist. She was a tireless member of the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the tenants’ rights movement, the anti-nuclear-power movement, and the Women’s Pentagon Action, among other causes, and proved herself to be a passionate citizen of each of her communities—New York City and rural Vermont.
A Study Guide for Grace Paley's "Wants", excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Short Stories for Students for all of your research needs.
A Study Guide for Grace Paley's "Conversation with My Father," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Short Stories for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Short Stories for Students for all of your research needs.
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,25, University of Frankfurt (Main) (Institut für England und Amerikastudien), course: Grace Paley, language: English, abstract: Grace Paley is a well-renowned author of prose and poetry, a political activist, and a passionate mother and grandmother. She never detached her working as an author from her family life and her own family relationships, but made it a central subject of her work. Her life and work resist separation; it would only result in artificial and false distinctions. Besides political concerns and feminist issues, the family and generational relationships are the main focus in both Grace Paley’s life and work. I will analyze this in three steps: first I will examine her biography and its influence on her work. In a second step I argue that the subject of family is a central and repeating issue in Grace Paley’s work, exemplifying this on a selection of short stories and poems. In the third and final section I will show how family matters are interwoven with feminist issues.
Covers more than sixty women who published significant fiction after 1945, with a brief biography, exposition of major works and themes, survey of critical reception, and references to primary and secondary sources for each.
In mapping the achievements of contemporary American women poets, this reference helps liberate them from restrictive conventional views and illustrates the tremendous diversity of their works. Included are alphabetically arranged entries on nearly 70 American women poets who published significant works after 1945.