May 6, 2023
Gabrielle Glaser, as moderator, was masterful in having Regan Penaluna (How to Write Like a Woman), Kate Zernike (The Exceptions), and me (Undaunted) share the journey of women in the fight for equality. We breezed through the terrain of the woman philosophers of the 17th century, of the woman scientists of the 1970s to the 2000s, of the woman journalists at the top of mass media since the 1840s. Gabrielle queried us on the cardinal characteristics of one of our most fascinating characters, on the allies who helped the women of each field along the way (which yielded quite a bit about those who didn’t), and the forms throughout the centuries that discrimination against women and the diminishment of their work have taken, all the way up to Regan’s own disturbing experiences as a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy in the early 2000s.
In the mere minutes before we took the stage, we had bonded enough to pose for a snapshot that captured us like this:
Scheduled astride The Coronation and another festival panel at Montclair State that featured Jeff Sharlet (The Undertow), Alissa Quart (Bootstrapped), and Andrea Elliot (The Invisible Child), our woman-centric subject still managed to summon a lively and responsive crowd. It included some Montclarians (Montclairites?) I cherish: Regan Arthur, the publisher of Knopf and thus of Undaunted; Paula Span and Eric Levin, my friends of a half a century; Rachel Swarns (The 272, coming from Random House in June), my wonderful NYU colleague (and before NYU, Kate’s colleague at The New York Times); and Jan Hoffman, whom I was pleased to meet again after many years.
Paula kindly pressed the record button so we could have an MP3 of this clever idea for an hour-long, multi-disciplinary panel for a literary event. Kudos to those who thought it up.
2023-5-6-MONTCLAIR LITERARY FESTIVAL
Oh. And for the record, here’s what the the handsome pre-event promotional material looked like (and, of course, our books).