Clow Auctions Words of Wisdom (Celebrities Offer Personal Copies of Books by or about Women for Charity Auction)

By Toller, Carol | Herizons, Summer 1994 | Go to article overview

Clow Auctions Words of Wisdom (Celebrities Offer Personal Copies of Books by or about Women for Charity Auction)


Toller, Carol, Herizons


CCLOW AUCTIONS: WORDS OF WISDOM.

Ask 100 celebrities to name their favourite book by or about a woman and you'll get 100 different answers - from the 19th-century classic Jane Eyre to the autobiography of talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael.

Alice Munro chose a collection of Katherine Mansfield short stories Anti-porn activist Andrea Dworkin picked a British novel called Dirty Weekend. Canadian gold medal swimmer Mark Tewksbury selected Maya Angelou's Gatber Together in My Name - the book the took with him to the 1992 Olympics.

These books and more than 90 others were put on the auction block in April at a fundraising event sponsored by the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women. CCLOW, a national organization dedicated to addressing education and job training issues for girls and women in Canada, asked internationally renowned feminists, activists, authors, entertainers and politicians to donate a personal copy of a book by or about a woman - with a message explaining why it is special to them. Most of the donors wrote personal messages inside their contributions, making each book a tribute to the lives and voices of women around the world.

The Toronto auction, raised close to $7,000 in support of CCLOW's scholarships for women returning to high school. Several books drew bids of more than $300, including a copy of Barbara King solver's novel The Bean Trees, donated by Toronto feminist writer Michele Landsberg.

In a written inscription dedicated to the book's future owner, Landsberg calls the book a memento of a very happy time in her life. "...I was living in New York and, for the first and only time in my adult life, was not working too hard. I had time to explore, to make and cultivate wonderful new friendships, to walk and think, to visit bookstores, read in the park on sunny days - laugh with my kids.

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