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Writer Joyce Johnson's on Women's Adventures

Johnson was part of the 1950s Beat community and had a relationship with Jack Kerouac. Her experience in the literary counterculture - and the peripheral place of women within it -- has influenced much of her work, including her memoir Minor Characters and her new novel, In the Night Cafe.


Susan Sontag on Disease and Metaphor

The essayist and novelist's new book, called AIDS and Its Metaphors, examines the discourse surrounding the disease. Sontag is a cancer survivor; a previous book about language and sickness is titled Illness as Metaphor. She joins Fresh Air to talk about how cancer changed her thinking and made her a more compassionate person.


Changing Women's Roles in Detective Fiction

Sarah Paretsky's novels feature women detectives who are every bit as tough as their hard-boiled male counterparts. Her work subverts classic tropes of vulnerable virgins and femme fatales. Her newest book is called Bitter Medicine.


Atwood on Women and Literature.

Margaret Atwood is a novelist and poet whose female protagonists have attracted women readers. Atwood considers herself a feminist writer and joins the show to discuss her life, career, and the women's movement. Her latest work is a collection of short stories titled "Dancing Girls."


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