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Florence in Words

New Event in the DC Area on May 6

Come for a book talk and lunch. See the details here: http://www.florencehowe.com/events.htm
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New Year's Day

Lady Borton and I in Vietnam.
Apologies, apologies, apologies. I ought to fill the page, many pages, with that word. I’ve been silent since early October, perhaps mourning for the loss of that family who stayed with me for a week and then returned to their own life (see blog and photos just below). On November 1, I had to wake up to the realities of two weeks in Vietnam on a schedule that would have tired a teenager. But that’s the way my dear friends, Lady Borton and Nguyen Minh Ha, lead their lives. And I managed, though the journey back—14 hours (from Seoul to New York) sitting upright with leg cramps most of the way, after a five-hour layover and another four-hour flight—sent me to bed for a couple of weeks and the depression returned. Read More 
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End of the Year Letter

Rebecca Seawright, Grandma Alice Jackson holding Kennedy and her new stuffed dog, and Jack Wright, Kennedy's father
Dear Friends:

Yes, I know, I am weeks late with this end-of-the-year letter. What inspired me to write today was coming across last year’s plaintively optimistic letter. I hoped that President Obama would be able to do more, and I hoped that my book would do well and that I would quickly find new forms of productivity.  Read More 
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The Unexpected Rules the Day









Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur and meSan Francisco State University staff and me
Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur and me
San Francisco State University staff and me


Long before I set out for the west coast readings, Julie Olsen Edwards, one of Tillie Olsen’s daughters, asked women’s studies faculty at San Francisco State University whether they’d like to have me read from my memoir. She asked them because I was Tillie’s publisher and friend, and because Tillie’s daughters have given women’s studies at SFSU a bequest establishing a Tillie Olsen student award. Read More 
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The Month of April Disappears Without Blogs

I thought I would write blogs as I moved from place to place in California, and so I carried my little Toyota with me. But the most I could do at the end of a day of talking, talking, talking, was to write a brief journal reporting on how tired I was or how I’d spent the day and evening talking. Or, when I was more tired that that, I wrote nothing. And the next morning was no use, for I rose in time to begin another schedule. Read More 
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Triangle Fire

Many friends have written to say I should continue blogging. So, though I still feel as though I were writing into the wind, I am responding with a blog. I said I was expecting two visitors, one from Japan, the other from India, but before I was to see them, my dear friend Janet Zandy flew from Rochester to New York to spend the weekend with me to attend events around the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire on March 25, 2011. We attended part of an academic conference on Thursday, and another on Saturday, but the two events that really meant the most to us were not these. On Friday morning at 10 a.m., hundreds of women and men gathered at Union Square, 14th Street for a March of the Shirtwaists down to the building itself from which 146 mostly young girls burned to death or chose to throw themselves from the eighth or ninth floors. Read More 
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Recovery and Renewal

Yes, it all felt wonderful the next morning, and I promised myself I would never get so “nervous” again. We’ll see, of course, but there was something about speaking on hallowed ground about the Dean who had saved me from my mother and the President who had changed my future despite my mother that was frightening, as though my mother was, herself, in the room. Silliness, I know. But I plan not to read those sections in California and Seattle. Read More 
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Blog or Journal

It’s the day when I’m to read from A Life in Motion at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, the “campus” of my college years back in the mid- to late-nineteen-forties. And I’m incredibly nervous. I am taking deep breaths, and I am remembering the first time I spoke as a feminist back in 1969, from a manuscript called “Should Women Read Fiction?” when the venue was a Michigan university classroom filled with about 50 faculty members and graduate students. Those were the days when I had hives before I spoke, red rings around my wrists. This is more than 40 years later and at least I have no hives, only breathlessness. Read More 
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