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Feb 23, Marjorie Gray rated it liked it. Well-suited for women's book group weekend in which we took turns reviewing recent reads. Affirmed my solidarity with women of all ages for whom journal-keeping is a valuable lifeline. I appreciated the groupings based on Love, Work and Power with the premise that balance and integration are ideal. My favorites were probably the ones in Alaska and Mexico. Feb 24, Wendy rated it liked it. You can read this in snippets. It is fascinating to read about womens' experiences and how they still resonate today.

Always interesting to other journal-keepers.

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Jan 30, Fishface rated it liked it Shelves: This is a good read, absolutely packed with different viewpoints. Has pieces of the life stories of all kinds of women from all over the place. Feb 03, Joann rated it liked it Shelves: Valuable excerpts and thoughts shared.


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Jul 28, Stephanie rated it it was amazing. So interesting to have a glimpse into their lives. Danielle rated it liked it Mar 09, Chandra rated it really liked it Sep 05, Lauren rated it it was amazing Feb 20, Madeline Moss rated it really liked it Jan 14, Deanna Raybourn rated it it was amazing Mar 02, Dawna rated it liked it May 02, Erin rated it really liked it Sep 02, Priya Kamlesh rated it really liked it Jan 06, Jennifer Pratt rated it really liked it Jan 08, Heidi rated it really liked it Jun 08, Denise rated it really liked it Mar 07, Mlozanowski rated it really liked it Mar 19, Lauren rated it really liked it Apr 18, If you get you're hands on this one, as I did as a 13 year old at a thrift store for 10 cents, you'll never let go.

Now 20 years later, the entries by these women mean many different things to me. I didn't understand Anais Nin, I do now. I understood Anne Frank, or I thought I did. Then there were all these other wonderfully written pieces by who, I didn't know Sand, Dostoevsky, Carr, Wordsworth, Sand.

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I still draw off these women and their love, work, and power as the book is broken into those three parts. I still believe in the next twenty years I'll find something new, and the twenty years after that. I believe my 10 cents went a long way, and whatever monetary value it is worth to you, this is their words for us to keep forever. For the most part, these are some great excerpts from womens' journals though I wish there had been more than just one diary which was written before the 19th century!

However, it becomes painfully obvious by a lot of the editorial comments and the selection process they admitted to using that this came out in the Seventies. I've read other anthologies of journals like this, and they don't make it obvious which era they came out in. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this came out at the height of womens' lib, and the editors seem like they went a bit overboard.

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They were certainly well-meaning, but a lot of stuff that came out in this era now looks silly and like people got too carried away in that flush of an era of new possibilities and horizons. Particularly irksome is how they say that they didn't pick journallers based on if they lived in a historically interesting time, but rather admitted "Our own tastes led us to put aside those that posited a self we didn't like or find interesting, and to seek out those that demonstrated character as the ability to make moral distinctions and choices according to a personal code rather than the social or religious codes of the age in which they wrote.

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I'd rather read journals from women who lived in interesting historical time periods, not from journals which were selected only because of political or social beliefs. It's like they were trying to find women from other eras whose opinions or personal lives agreed with what was going on in the Seventies, like sexual liberation or not getting married, and admitted that they discarded a journal which was historically interesting yet "cast too little light on the personality of the author. I was also disgusted by the diary of Evelyn Scott, who ran away to Rio de Janiero at the age of twenty with a married man, pregnant with their illegitimate child.

I'm not surprised that a number of these journals are now out of print, because they're so dated and no longer relevant! An awful lot of their comments seem like putting words in peoples' mouths; how would they know that some journaller they tossed aside wasn't status quo or religious because it was her integral nature the same way as it was another woman's integral nature to shun marriage and mainstream sexual behaviour? It has never occured to me that I keep journals because I feel I have no other outlet of expression and like my views would be stifled otherwise, or to find "my true nature.

Most journallers just want to keep a record of their lives. I think most women across the ages have kept journals just because they wanted to, not to express anger at the system or to have an outlet for illicit and taboo beliefs! Times have changed a lot. So many of these excerpts some of which would have seemed more coherent and interesting if the editors hadn't skipped around so much between the entries; why were all of the entries in between the included ones not included as well?

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This was a really laudable effort, but ultimately is like so many other books which came out in this era--laughably dated today. I highly recommend Moffat and Painter's selection of diary and journal entries by a wide variety of women. They organize the excerpts according to themes related to love, work, and power. But some of the most striking are by women that are not well known, at least in America.

Hannah Senesh, who did spying work for the early state of Israel; Carolina Maria de Jesus, a Brazilian who grew up in abject poverty; Martha Martin, who survived the ordeal of being stranded in Alaska and having to give birth by herself--these are a few of the extraordinary women in this book.


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Reading it is like sitting down with strangers who quickly end up friends--and since so many of them are writing because no one around them could listen, they pour out everything in their hearts and minds. Sweden's Selma Lagerlof, first woman to win the Nobel for Literature. Katherine Mansfield, short-story writer, New Zealand, died in in Europe age 34, mentions Anton Chekov and Gurdijieff in her diary.

Joanna Field, the English psychologist -- I think of her bringing scientific analysis to bear upon subjective feelings -- true perspective, one admitting the other, flowing and growing? Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. I Agree This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and if not signed in for advertising. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms. Diaries of Women by Mary Jane Moffat. Members Reviews Popularity Average rating Mentions 2 , 4.

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