cover image Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism

Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism

Katha Pollitt. Alfred A. Knopf, $25 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-394-57060-0

Pollitt, a prize-winning poet whose incisive political and social commentary appears in the Nation and other journals, here gathers previously published works that have in common a ``concern for women's entitlement to full human rights.'' She brings a lively wit and considerable erudition to analyzing topics ranging from date rape to media-bashing of Hillary Clinton, and she consistently sees past the ephemeral quality of specific newsmaking events to locate issues of enduring importance. For example, in her 1987 essay about the famous Baby M case, Pollitt focuses not on the characters and morals of Mary Beth Whitehead and William and Elizabeth Stern but on the nature of the transaction between them, ``an inherently unequal relationship involving the sale of a woman's body and a child.'' One wishes only that Pollitt had taken the occasion of book publication to supply the sources of her data or to direct the reader to the salient passages in the works she cites. These, however, are minor lapses in a collection of major interest. (Aug.)