Back to top

How to Suppress Women's Writing

How to Suppress Women's Writing

A landmark feminist critique with a new foreword by Jessa Crispin, author of Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto, this provocative book surveys the forces that work against women who dare to write.

Series: Louann Atkins Temple Women and Culture Endowment

April 2018
Active (available)
$19.95
224 pages | 5.5. x 8.5 |
ISBN: 
978-1-4773-1625-2
Description: 

Are women able to achieve anything they set their minds to? In How to Suppress Women’s Writing, award-winning novelist and scholar Joanna Russ lays bare the subtle—and not so subtle—strategies that society uses to ignore, condemn, or belittle women who produce literature. As relevant today as when it was first published in 1983, this book has motivated generations of readers with its powerful feminist critique.

“What is it going to take to break apart these rigidities? Russ’s book is a formidable attempt. It is angry without being self-righteous, it is thorough without being exhausting, and it is serious without being devoid of a sense of humor. But it was published over thirty years ago, in 1983, and there’s not an enormous difference between the world she describes and the world we inhabit.”
—Jessa Crispin, from the foreword

“A book of the most profound and original clarity. Like all clear-sighted people who look and see what has been much mystified and much lied about, Russ is quite excitingly subversive. The study of literature should never be the same again.”
—Marge Piercy

“Joanna Russ is a brilliant writer, a writer of real moral passion and high wit.”
—Adrienne Rich

Contents: 
  • Foreword by Jessa Crispin
  • Prologue
  • 1. Prohibitions
  • 2. Bad Faith
  • 3. Denial of Agency
  • 4. Pollution of Agency
  • 5. The Double Standard of Content
  • 6. False Categorizing
  • 7. Isolation
  • 8. Anomalousness
  • 9. Lack of Models
  • 10. Responses
  • 11. Aesthetics
  • Epilogue
  • Author’s Note
  • Afterword
  • Notes
  • Index
Author: 

JOANNA RUSS
(1937–2011)

Hugo and Nebula award–winning author Russ was a widely respected feminist science fiction writer best known for the novel The Female Man. She was also a professor of English at the University of Washington who published several collections of essays and literary criticism.

JESSA CRISPIN
Kansas City, Missouri

Crispin is the founder and editor of Bookslut.com. She is the author of The Dead Ladies Project and Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto.

Reviews: 

“Reading it changed the way I approached criticism and the act of reading itself.”
Buzzfeed

“A brilliant piece of feminist literary criticism.”
Electric Lit

“A quirky, irreverent, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic piece of work. It catalogues all the various attitudinal problems and misconceptions ...that allow us to disregard or even discard the artistic productions of women. By defining these patterns so clearly and succinctly, Russ holds a mirror before us—a mirror in which we can see ourselves anew.”
Annette Kolodny

“A book of the most profound and original clarity. Like all clear-sighted people who look and see what has been much mystified and much lied about, Russ is quite excitingly subversive. The study of literature should never be the same again . . .”
Marge Piercy

“Extraordinary and original ...feminist literary criticism rarely explores the social context in which literature is selected for posterity. This, Russ does persuasively, movingly, and in the finest of critical traditions.”
Phyllis Chesler