The Women

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jan 31, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages

A New York Times Notable Book

Daring and fiercely original, The Women is at once a memoir, a psychological study, a sociopolitical manifesto, and an incisive adventure in literary criticism. It is conceived as a series of portraits analyzing the role that sexual and racial identity played in the lives and work of the writer's subjects: his mother, a self-described "Negress," who would not be defined by the limitations of race and gender; the mother of Malcolm X, whose mixed-race background and eventual descent into madness contributed to her son's misogyny and racism; brilliant, Harvard-educated Dorothy Dean, who rarely identified with other blacks or women, but deeply empathized with white gay men; and the late Owen Dodson, a poet and dramatist who was female-identified and who played an important role in the author's own social and intellectual formation.

Hilton Als submits both racial and sexual stereotypes to his inimitable scrutiny with relentless humor and sympathy. The results are exhilarating. The Women is that rarest of books: a memorable work of self-investigation that creates a form of all its own.

 

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THE WOMEN

User Review  - Kirkus

Examining the images of ``the Negress'' and the ``good Negro'' as they have shaped the lives of several remarkable men and women, including Fulbright scholar and ``fag hag'' Dorothy Dean, poet Owen ... Read full review

The women

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Als's first book reads not unlike an extended essay in The New Yorker, where he works as a staff writer (he also edited the catalog for the controversial 1994-95 exhibition at the Whitney Museum ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
20
Section 4
43
Section 5
59
Section 6
61
Section 7
65
Section 8
67
Section 9
79
Section 10
92
Section 11
105
Section 12
119
Section 13
132
Section 14
136
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Hilton Als is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

Bibliographic information