One-Minute Book Reviews

August 21, 2009

Backscratching in Our Time — Gloria Steinem and J. Courtney Sullivan

The latest in a series of occasional posts on authors who praise each other’s work

Gloria Steinem on J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement:
“Take Mary McCarthy’s The Group, add a new feminist generation striving to understand everything from themselves and their mothers to the notion of masculinity that fuels sex trafficking, and you get this generous-hearted, brave first novel. Commencement makes clear that the feminist revolution is just beginning.”

J. Courtney Sullivan on Gloria Steinem in Commencement:
From the acknowledgments for Commencement: “For helping me understand the reality of sex trafficking in America, I owe thanks to … Gloria Steinem.”

From the pages of Commencement: “I came here because it was the alma mater of Gloria Steinem and Molly Ivins. I thought it was the most effective place to fight the patriarchy in this godforsaken country.” — A character named April on why she wanted to attend Smith College

Also from Commencement: “Her ultimate hero was Gloria Steinem. She had improved countless lives , with actions as simple as setting up networks of women who would otherwise never have found one another and starting a magazine devoted to feminism. She always stood up for what was right and never compromised her principles, but she also didn’t offend the average person’s sensibilities and wasn’t afraid to highlight her hair. She liked men! She dated. She got married, though it ended tragically. She was a real woman who believed in equality. Wasn’t that a hundred times more powerful than the contributions of someone who was divisive and scary. …? — A Smith alumna named Sally on the different types of activism

Other examples of logrolling appear in the Backscratching in Our Time category on this site.

2 Comments »

  1. I was just telling Madonna the other day that I can’t believe how life is “forcing” all of us to become PR flaks by doing all of this expedient name dropping and turn-about-is-fair-play blurbing.

    It’s been around forever. One of my favorite discussions about it comes from “The End of Intelligent Writing: Literary Politics in America” written back in 1974 by Richard Kostelanetz where he takes writers to task for reviewing each other’s books in a rather in-grown, sick environment.

    Malcolm

    Comment by knightofswords — August 21, 2009 @ 10:41 am | Reply

    • Wouldn’t be surprised if Madonna had engaged in this backscratching. Some of the people who do are the ones you’d think would need it least.

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 22, 2009 @ 9:32 am | Reply


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