Tag: women and freedom

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...

Read More

Being Poor While Female in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853)

Nearly eighty years after the publication of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Villette, Virginia Woolf laments the poverty of women in her classic book, A Room Of One’s Own. In that classic piece is the famous conclusion that “a woman needs money and room of her own if she is to write fiction”(4). But how to attain it in a culture and time in that culture where women were notoriously poor?  Woolf speaks of how she came to having money of her own, five hundred pounds a year, left to her by her aunt “Mary Beton” who “died by a fall...

Read More

Toni Morrison’s Sula: Available to and for her own imagination—a rare kind of freedom.

Toni Morrison’s Sula (1973) has long been one of my favorite books. Besides simply wanting to immerse myself back into the mastery of Morrison’s writing, I repeatedly return to Sula to contemplate the friendship between Nel and Sula, the issue of betrayal that unfolds within the novel’s plot, and to feel Nel’s grief and long and lasting cry in my own throat and chest in the last lines of the book; the ones that finally set her free: “‘We was girls together…Oh, Lord, Sula,’ she cried, ‘girl, girl, girlgirlgirl,              It was a fine...

Read More

JOIN NOW FOR “NASTY” UPDATES, One post per week in your inbox about a #nastywoman who is inspiring us to write about them.