I had to put Tombstone down, because it was making me feel too unbearably sad. Millions died while American teenagers worried about cars, their hair and the senior prom. After the holiday season, I'll finish the book. But I can't let go of the completely fascinating biography of three women: All We Know: Three Lives, by Lisa Cohen. Here is the NYT review. Which is just terrible. And completely misses the point. Cohen has resurrected three women and made them live again. And with them comes a whole chunk of the buried past. My mother would have understood this book so well. Like these women, she was considered to be a failure, but there never really was a chance for her to succeed, because that would have to have been in terms that men could understand and would care about, since they had all the power.
These women are forgotten because they came along too soon. And they ruined their personal lives with drink and tobacco, alas. The reviewer has to point out right away that they were lesbians, as if the many other fascinating things about them were secondary; I wish we could rid ourselves of these stereotypes of sexuality. It's so square, as we used to say.
And when it comes to feminism: we're just getting started. A lot of overconfident young women are going to find out the truth of that, and very soon. These three women were pioneers, and we haven't yet caught up to them. Maybe in 100 more years.
I need to write reviews. I know it. But time is just not on my side right now.
Enough! Today the Xmas tree goes up and all the cards get addressed. Or else!!!!