Writers of Conviction: The Personal Politics of Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Rose Wilder Lane, and Josephine Herbst

By Julia C. Ehrhardt | Go to book overview

4

Sisterhood Is Powerful The Unhappy Marriage of Women's Writing and Women's Sexuality in Josephine Herbst's Fiction

I cannot indicate the character and intention of my work without at once speaking of my own experience.... [F]or me the experience of life and the experience of writing are hard to separate.

―Josephine Herbst, draft of fellowship essay

I have never known in my life any other writer who was so solid, so joyous, so giving, who was able to take difficulties so much in her stride, and who even when she was getting pretty old and sick, made you see that flaming girl from Sioux City and Berkeley and New York, Germany and Russia and Cuba and Spain, who was always getting mad about injustice and pompous stupidity.

―Alfred Kazin, eulogy for Herbst

In 1958, Josephine Herbst wrote a letter to her friend Alfred Kazin explaining why future generations of American readers would never be familiar with her work: “I will probably never get any awards or prizes. I am not Dorothy Parker, interestingly drunk or nastily witty. I've never been to Hollywood; I don't write for the New Yorker. I'm

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