Books and Life

Jan Clausen, Author Ohio State University Press $8.95 (237p) ISBN 978-0-8142-0470-2
In these essays and reviews, Clausen ( The Prosperine Papers ) raises provocative questions--about feminism, lesbianism, activism and the web of relationships among these and a host of other ``isms.'' She pinpoints the potential pitfalls of common assumptions underlying anti-patriarchal poetry of the '70s (``Feminist poetry is useful''; ``individual ego plays a minimal role in its creation''). With lucidity and a welcome sense of humor, Clausen is refreshingly honest: she calls '70s feminism a ``womb/crucible''; she enjoys fiction by men partly because of the ``vacation it provides from ideology''; she describes her difficulties as a ``flommy,'' or stepmother, to her lesbian lover's daughter. At times, Clausen's reviews are unfocused; her es says lack political subtlety and ignore her own admonitions (she laments that Doris Lessing is not a feminist). But this decade's worth of writing reflects the growth and evolution of an individ ual as well as a movement. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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