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Florence in Words

Depression and Immobility

As I made my bed this morning, I thought, how easy it is to smooth out the wrinkles, line up the pillows, pull up the quilt. It takes only less than a minute, and yet, some mornings I avoid the ritual. Is it a sign of health to make my bed or to ignore it? Or is the question irrelevant? Am I searching for meaning in a world that seems purposeless? Or if the world is not purposeless in general, still, I can find no purpose in it for myself. Yes, my friends tell me this is simply the aftermath of finishing a huge project. The slough of despond—does anyone remember that expression?—will soon depart and I will be engaged in a new project, feeling hopeful again. Read More 
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Blog Miscellany

I apologize to my blog-readers for silence, which has two causes: laziness about writing blogs and the absence of dear Jeannette, who is off at a seminar for much of June. For those of you just tuning in, this website depends on the skills of Jeannette Petras, who used to be the Feminist Press's brilliant marketing manager, and would that she was still there marketing my book. But that’s another story. Read More 
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Reviews

I just received news of two new reviews coming in. A man--at least I think it's a man--who has a regular blog, just wrote a long and sensible review of A Life in Motion. It's amazing to me, and I've written to him asking why he did it. With reviews, one must depend on the kindness of strangers. Read More 
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A Life in Motion Now Up on Google

I just learned that A Life in Motion is now available in the Google eBookstore. You can download it by going here: http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=xGs5Rg-9VUwC&dq=A%20life%20in%20Motion&as_brr=5&source=webstore_bookcard
Google
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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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Correction

Sorry for an error involving the University of Washington, whose department is called Gender, Women and Sexuality Department. It was Eileen Boris, the chair of the department of Feminist Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who told me that she had petitioned to have the name of her department changed to Feminist Studies because of the request of male Affiliated Faculty. Read More 
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What's in a Name?

On my recent trip to the west coast, in part I was the guest of four “women’s studies programs,” though I must say at once that none of them are “programs,” and none of them call themselves “women’s studies.” Indeed, they are each departments, though they began life in the 1970s as programs. What is the difference? Does it matter what a university unit is called? And who cares? 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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Birthday

It’s the day of my 82nd birthday and I feel privileged to have had so many good wishes from friends and from my constructed, chosen families. What does it feel like to be 82? Not much different from a score of years preceding this one. But physically I realize that I no longer have that light step with which I once walked—and danced. I can step. I can walk long distances without pain or discomfort and usually my balance is decent. But as I look at young people walking, I try to remember what it was like not to think about the act itself, not to focus on the act itself to keep my balance from wandering. Read More 
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