Deirdre Bair is known for her biography of playwright Samuel Beckett, "Samuel Beckett: A Biography." She is now the "designated" (not "official") biographer for French feminist and writer Simone de Beauvoir. She recently interviewed de Beauvoir for the first time in Paris, and joins the show to discuss their conversation.
That student was Fresh Air's critic-at-large Laurie Stone. Stone studied with the feminist writer at Barnard. She was excited by Millet's enthusiasm for art and literature, and was emboldened by Millett's sincere belief in Stone's own potential.
Writer and performer Bobbie Louise Hawkins. In addition to her poetry and prose, Hawkins is an artist, playwright and actress. Her books include One Small Saga, Back to Texas, Frenchy and Cuban Pete, Almost Everything. Her new book, My Own Alphabet, is a collection of stories, essays and memoirs. Hawkins also tours with Terry Garthwaite and Rosalie Sorrels in a performance that combines jazz, story-telling and folk music.
Writer Cynthia Ozick. In 1981 and 1984, Ozick's two stories, "The Shawl" and "Rosa" won the O. Henry Prize award. Both stories appear in Ozick's new book, called The Shawl. In it, Ozick looks at what it means to `survive' the Nazi concentration camps, telling the story of Rosa, who witnesses the murder of her infant daughter in the camps. Later, living in Miami, Rosa imagines her daughter alive and married to a doctor in the United States.
British writer Fay Weldon. She's most famous for her book, "The Life and Loves of a She-Devil," which was recently made into a movie. Weldon's novels deal with certain aspects of the female experience. In her first novel, "Fat Women's Joke" (1967), an over-weight middle-aged woman leaves her husband and struggles for self-respect in a world where youth and sex appeal count. And the heroine of "Down Among the Women," is an unwed mother. In all, Weldon has written fourteen novels and story collections.
Novelist Mary Gordon has a new collection of essays, "Good Boys and Dead Girls: And Other Essays." Catholicism has been a constant theme in her novels, which include: "Final Payment," and "The Company of Women." American fiction by men, Catholicism, and abortion are some of the issues she write about in her new book
Writer Sandra Cisneros. Her first book, "The House on Mango Street," told the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young girl growing up in the Latino quarter of Chicago. Cisneros has a recent collection of stories, "Woman Hollering Creek." (Rebroadcast. Original date 4/23/91).