KEVIN SECCIA : I’ll tell you my favorite moment of that whole time, when I was writing this oral history of this oral history. Most of it I never think about, because I’m not that guy anymore, you know? The guy who started writing this. You get older, you start to think about something else you’d like to write, or maybe you should just do the writing work someone has already paid you for. So, the best moment, for me, was this line… Because that’s when you were like, “Uh, the wheels are starting to come off of this thing, a little bit? How’s he gonna end this?”
The Norton Book of Women’s Lives , (1993) ed. By Phyllis Rose. The folks at Norton are masters of the anthology, and this 800-page collection of 20th century excerpts is proof of that. The book is arranged alphabetically, beginning with Maya Angelou and ending with Virginia Woolf. The collection includes snippets of the famous females’ writing and a short bio of each. Big names like Billie Holiday, Annie Dillard, Helen Keller, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath, and Gertrude Stein are juxtaposed next to lesser-known but no less interesting femmes such as Nien Dieng, who was imprisoned during Mao’s Cultural Revolution; Le Ly Hayslip, a former Vietcong sympathizer who came to realize that war was the real enemy; Emma Mashinini, the black South African whose community organizing landed her in solitary confinement in the Pretoria Central Prison; and Nisa, a member of the Kalahari tribe of southern Africa whose oral autobiography provides historians, layfolk, and anthropologists alike with a peek into a less civilized culture.