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Good Girl, Bad Girl

Elaine Showalter, 5 June 1997

Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment 
by Jane Gallop.
Duke, 104 pp., £28.50, June 1997, 0 8223 1918 7
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A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned 
by Jane Tompkins.
Addison-Wesley, 256 pp., $22, January 1997, 0 201 91212 0
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Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent’s Death 
by Nancy Miller.
Oxford, 208 pp., £19.50, February 1997, 0 19 509130 2
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... the possibilities and the pitfalls of the academic memoir as a genre? The three books by Gallop, Tompkins and Miller offer a cross-section of the feminist academic memoir as sensationalism, jeremiad and meditation, and present visions of the academic career as erotic gratification, terrified performance and philosophical consolation. Taken together, they ...

Check out the parking lot

Rebecca Solnit: Hell in LA, 8 July 2004

Dante's Inferno 
by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders.
Chronicle, 218 pp., £15.99, May 2004, 0 8118 4213 4
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... especially its male portion, is fraught with inarticulateness and often committed to it as well. Jane Tompkins, in West of Everything: The Inner Life of Westerns, traces some of this to a frank distrust of language and an association of speaking with opening up, compromising and otherwise surrendering. John Wayne, she points out, spoke in ...

Molly’s Methuselah

Frank Kermode, 26 September 1991

Bernard Shaw. Vol. III: 1918-1950, The Lure of Fantasy 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 544 pp., £21, September 1991, 0 7011 3351 1
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... but no, at 70 he had an interesting and rather risky affair with an American woman called Molly Tompkins, 42 years his junior. Fame can be aphrodisiac, but old age is normally not, and the latter will normally ensure the transience of any sexual attraction caused by the former. But Molly really wanted Shaw and went on doing so. ‘I am dazed by the violence ...

Mother’s back

Lorna Sage: Feminists with Tenure, 18 May 2000

What is a Woman? And Other Essays 
by Toril Moi.
Oxford, 517 pp., £25, October 1999, 9780198122425
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... from a different angle. It looks at the fashion for saying ‘I’ in academe that started with Jane Tompkins’s 1989 essay ‘Me and My Shadow’, in which Tompkins confesses to finding theoretical writing ‘incredibly alienating’: ‘I love writers who write about their own experience. I feel I am being ...

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