The ten brilliant women who are the focus of Sharp came from different backgrounds and had vastly divergent political and artistic opinions. But they all made a significant contribution to the cultural and intellectual history of America and ultimately changed the course of the twentieth century, in spite of the men who often undervalued or dismissed their work. These ten womenDorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolmare united by what Dean calls sharpness, the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. Sharp is a vibrant depiction of the intellectual beau monde of twentieth-century New York, where gossip-filled parties at night gave out to literary slugging-matches in the pages of the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is also a passionate portrayal of how these women asserted themselves through their writing in a climate where women were treated with extreme condescension by the male-dominated cultural establishment. Mixing biography, literary criticism, and cultural history, Sharp is a celebration of this group of extraordinary women, an engaging introduction to their works, and a testament to how anyone who feels powerless can claim the mantle of writer, and, perhaps, change the world....
|Title||:||Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||384 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Sharp » Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion|
Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion Reviews
Before reading Sharp by Michelle Dean, I wasn't under the impression that the women in this book were going to become some kind of role models for me, but I guess I expected them to be a little more together, maybe a little less petty. Now, don't get me wrong, I love some petty. Especially nowadays, petty can get you through the day, but I guess I was expecting more elegance from these women who were such trailblazers in their day. They cheated on their husbands (and were cheated on by their hus ...more
A collection studying various female writers who at least began in the 20th century, all of whom were at one or another time called 'sharp' - which may seem a bit of a stretch, as premises go, but it stands for a whole constellation of qualities: women who because they weren't 'nice' were sometimes considered destructive, but who also tended to have at least somewhat vexed relationships to the feminist movement one might have expected to welcome them. I requested it from Netgalley principally be ...more
A really interesting books about really interesting women. Strongly recommended.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic
An interesting exploration of 10 "sharp" women of the 20th century, all writers and feminist influencers in one way or another. The author does an excellent job of not only discussing each woman but also demonstrating links among them. Of value in relation to understanding each woman and the world in which she confronted herself, her admirers, her critics, her obstacles, and how each used her literary style to influence society and survive.
Thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for making this advanced reader copy available to me. When I saw the write up of this book in Kirkus Reviews, I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations based on that review. I quit reading after only a few chapters because I found the book to be dry and rather boring or stodgy. I plan to go back and read some more, I’m wondering if the chapters with the more current subjects (e.g, Nora Ephron) will be more interesting. My ...more
An outstanding, must-read book--lovers of Didion, Sontag, Dorothy Parker or all the other brilliant women explored here: this is for you. A gift to the discussion of 20th-century arts and letters. And a lovesong to smart women.
Sharp is an exceptionally well written exploration of some of the most influential women writers of the last century. Almost every chapter explores a different woman's writing, giving details of their childhood and adolescent years as well as the intimate details of their writing careers. Dean differentiates this book from other collections of short biographies through two methods:
(1) She considers the writers' impacts on each other, rather than writing about them in isolation. Several chapters ...more
Loved this. Sharp by Michelle Dean gives insights into the lives and work of some of the 20th century’s most influential women writers. Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion Nora Ephron Renata Adler & Janet Malcolm...
It doesn’t deify these women at all. Michelle really examines their politics and outlook, but also considers the context of their work.