Author: Michelle Barthel Kratts

In the Beginning, There Was Enheduanna, Sumerian(2285-2250 B.C.E.) by Michelle Barthel Kratts

When I write, I often think of the first women who were daring enough to write. Over the years so many things have been forbidden—most disturbingly, the freedom of expression. Yet one woman found herself crafting words into poetry and commanding the course of history. Enheduanna, whom authors and poets may call “grandmother,” lived at the beginning of recorded history in the kingdom of ancient Sumeria. She is credited as the world’s first known author. Enheduanna translates as: “En” (Chief Priestess); “hedu” (ornament); “Ana” (of heaven) or as “En-Priestess, wife of the god Nanna.”  It is possible that she...

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Simone de Beauvoir Wrote the Story of My Life, French (1908-1986) By Michelle Barthel Kratts

My awakening occurred the week of my birthday in 1984. I had just turned thirteen. Thirteen is a magical year for girls of many cultures. It is the year we “come of age.” There are rituals and ceremonies marking the “rite of passage.” Generations back, it is possible that some of our grandmothers may have even been married at this same tender age. For me, during the week of my thirteenth birthday, everything changed after I stepped into a little book shop on Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada—when I discovered the works of Simone de Beauvoir. Simone de...

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