The Lioness:
Doris Lessing & The Legacy
She Left


Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 at the age of 89, died Sunday. She was 94. The Nobel Prize was hardly the crowing achievement of Lessing’s life and she didn’t pretend that it was. She understood what few of us are able to grasp — that the accolades are not the life. There is a beautiful tribute to Lessing by Alexandra Schwartz over at The New Yorker. I cannot top it here. And so, I direct you there.

PHOTOGRAPHY via The New Yorker


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Weird Week In Feminist History

Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

It’s been a weird week or two in feminist history. First Sheryl Sandberg gets (forgive the anti-feminist language, but it seems apt) bitch-slapped in the media for daring to speak feminism from accomplished heights, then Taylor Swift calls out Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, feminists if I’ve ever seen one, for supposedly not helping other women by honoring Swift with a joke at the Golden Globes. Of course, Swift came off like a petulant child, and Fey and Poehler handled her hurt feelings such good-humored grace that no real harm was done. Unfortunately, the attacks on Sandberg may leave a more lasting mark.


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Les Parisiennes

Parisian #1


Parisian #2

There’s a new book out from renowned portrait photographer Baudouin called 75 Parisiennes. It captures perfectly the mood of a place, what it means to be a Parisian. 75 Parisiennes is specific, but in its specificity, in it’s “placeness,” it somehow represents every specific place.

When you are of a specific place, your individuality is somehow amplified in much the same way that sampling a song, or otherwise beg, borrow & stealing from what has come before makes the things you appropriate yours and shift the landscape of who you’ll become. We are made of our ingredients, cooked up in the places we’ve inhabited fully. For me, I am made of the American South and Manhattan, Brooklyn and L.A. I am even made of Kenya, a place I tasted for just 3 months, but nonetheless claim as my home.


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Year’s Best:
Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution

Susan Cain's Quet

In 2012, Susan Cain, author of the best-selling and much lauded Quiet (subtitle: The Power Of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking), took what we thought we knew about introversion, and turned it on its head. She disabused us of any notion that introverts are shy (in fact, introversion and shyness are not particularly correlated, though a person could be both introverted and shy). She awakened us to deeper, more nuanced truths — about what extroversion and introversion really are, about why we need both to make the world go round, about why we err when we presume that the person that speaks the loudest is the one with the best idea.


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