Friday, August 24, 2007

Grace Paley, 'Opinionated Left-wing Lady', 1922-2007

When you write, you illuminate what's hidden, and that's a political act.

The writer and peace activist, Grace Paley, has died in Thetford Hill, Vermont.

Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviewed her in 1984.

Her Russian-born parents settled in the Bronx, NYC. Paley grew up in there, and later on, raised her kids in Greenwich Village.

I like how her stories caught the 'street' voices, the every-day lives of people in her neighbourhood. In the interview she talks about Hunter College English, and she did not like it. In the '30s and '40s, that school provided education for women to become teachers. The NY State qualification exams for teachers were primarily oral. The exams were designed to root out immigrant women, usually Russian, Polish and Jewish.

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