Thursday, June 12, 2008


Grace Paley: The role model who keeps on giving

In an old issue of off our backs, the feminist newsjournal, I spot a remembrance of Grace Paley, the poet/fiction writer/activist who died last year, by Judith Arcana, her biographer. Judith's lovely piece ends this way:

"Grace is important to us readers, writers and activists struggling to be conscious, making real art out of what we know as real life, transforming real life into what we want it to be."

And there, under the story, is a large photo of Grace and two men holding a banner in front of a chain-link fence. Nuclear installation? Toxic waste dump? We don't know - we just see the word "This" on the banner. The men look serious, earnest, intense. Grace is short, of course. Her head just peeks out above the word This. She is grinning. This is what I want real life to be. This.

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