Author: Theresa C. Dintino

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet is a #Nastywoman and Her #Nastiness Changes the World.

If Donald Trump met Elizabeth Bennet he for sure would have called her a #nastywoman. Why? Because she would have openly and confidently spoken her truth to him and about him. She would have her voice with him and dare to openly question and criticize him. And that, to Donald Trump, makes a woman #nasty.  Elizabeth Bennet would not, however,  have fallen in love with Donald Trump, because unlike Mr. Darcy, Donald Trump doesn’t know how to give proper respect to a #nastywoman.  In Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, the main character, Elizabeth Bennet  has a voice, a mind...

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Vivian Gornick’s Taking a Long Look: What 2nd Wave Feminism Got Right That We Still Benefit From Today

I was excited to find a new collection of essays by Vivian Gornick, Taking a Long Look: Essays on Culture, Literature, and Feminism in our Time in a San Francisco bookstore recently. Gornick was a political and social issues writer for the “Village Voice” and other publications who eventually found the form of memoir and moved in that direction. She earned great acclaim for Fierce Attachments (1987) a memoir about her relationship with her mother.  She is now 84 years old and still going strong. This particular collection of essays literally takes a long look back over fifty years...

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Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway: Being, Non-Being, and the Spiritual Continuum Holding Up the World

In her autobiographical memoir, “A Sketch of the Past,” Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) writes of what she calls moments of being, moments in our lives that separate themselves out from all the other moments of “non-being.” These moments of being are poignant, powerful and transcendent. Moments of being can be so strong and meaningful that they remain with us all our lives in the form of memory. Over time they are called up again and again into our consciousness, building complexity and strong association with other moments of being, further ripening with potential for transcendence as we age.   Moments...

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Ada Lovelace: Math, Vision, and Ambition in a Woman Meets Certain Death in Victorian England

When I think of Ada Lovelace 1815-1852, widely recognized as the first computer programmer, I think of a woman with highly curious intellect, vision, superb math skills, and ambition with absolutely no where to apply them in Victorian England. She chose to find men who had position and power and apply her gifts through them, as that was one of  the only ways a woman could push her own agenda in that time, but the men she chose failed or betrayed her and she was left with nothing. I cannot begin to imagine this woman’s frustration. It boils my...

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5 Gifts From Ursula K. Le Guin’s Last Novel

Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin’s last novel, written in 2008 when she was 79 is a gift in many ways. Here I list 5. There are many more but hey, you gotta stop somewhere! Gift #1: If one is a writer, as they read this novel, they can consider themselves to be sitting at the feet of this literary giant, listening to her musings on writing as an art and practice, the creation of character and stories, and how, in some cases, the characters writers create come alive and begin to have minds and even lives, of their own....

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Morgan Jerkins: This woman is on fire! And we all get to benefit.

Morgan Jerkins is a woman on fire who we are all benefitting from. At 29 she has written and published three books, two nonfiction and one novel and in the highest compliment I would ever give anyone, I will say that her novel Caul Baby, published in April of 2021, reminds me of those of one of my all-time favorites: Toni Morrison. I felt such joy when I read the following because of that recognition and resonance: “There were cracks on all four corners of Maman’s bedroom, and they were hungry. Black, jagged, and deep, they resembled outstretched hands...

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Alicia Garza: The Dynamics of Power 

Let’s begin by saying that movements are not started with hashtags and there is a lot more to creating real change than promoting a social media platform. And then let’s talk about Power, about addressing very intently and purposefully the power dynamic of white supremacy and patriarchy and changing that power dynamic. Then let’s talk about what happens when you openly address that invisible power dynamic and the shadows that stirs up in every corner of our culture. Then let’s talk about how that power dynamic tries to shut you down. Then let’s expose that we are talking about...

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Cathy Park Hong (Korean American b.1976): Writing the Language of Change

Cathy Park Hong’s poetry is powerfully unique. In a reading I watched on YouTube, part of The Loft Mentor Series filmed in Minneapolis in 2014, Hong says that she likes to make up worlds and even languages. Her books are often stories of characters who inhabit these worlds with their own language. Her poems beg to be read or spoken aloud. Alive, they jump up off the page. For some it may be an adjustment to adapt to this form: the different language and alternate worlds. As a reader, this was a shift for me. I found I needed...

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Vera (Atkins) Rosenberg: A Romanian Jewish Woman Spy Who Fought the Nazis with Everything She Had (1908-2000)

I was unaware that women were sent behind enemy lines by the Allied powers as spies and “guerrilla” fighters in WWII. But they were. Thirty-nine out of the 400 agents who were sent to German occupied France by Britain in preparation for the D-Day invasion, were women. All 400 were sent there by a woman named Vera Atkins who worked under Lieut.-Col. Maurice Buckmaster.  In 1941 Atkins was recruited by the London office of Britain’s newest secret service: The Special Operations Executive or SOE. “SOE was to develop a secret war: building up, organizing, and arming a resistance army...

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