About this issue
In fantastical story, ballad, essays, poetry, visual art, brief reflections, and memorial pieces, contributors honor the work of those who are no longer with us, while interweaving the lives of the departed with those of the living. In the process, they demonstrate that the feminist continuum knows no bounds.
Welcome to Trivia: Voices of Feminism #5, “The Resurrection Issue,” which centers on the lives and work of feminists who are no longer with us. (We should point out that not every writer who appears in these pages has departed; in some pieces the dead cavort with the living.) It’s an issue that has been long in the planning, and the fact that it is so full is of course not only cause for celebration. The list of important feminist writers and thinkers who've died has grown steadily since we first put out the call for submissions. Among these losses was writer and activist Tillie Olsen, who died on the first day of this year at the age of 94. The great theme of Olsen’s writing, both the stories collected in Tell Me a Riddle and her nonfiction book Silences, was the throttling of the writer’s voice, and more particularly the plight of the working woman and mother whose creative gift dies within her, or whose dream is deferred. Olsen knew this silence firsthand: her own writing career was delayed for twenty years as she worked and raised a family. “We must not speak of women writers in our century,” Olsen wrote in Silences, “… without speaking also of the invisible, the as-innately-capable: the born to the wrong circumstances —diminished, excluded, foundered, silenced. …We who write are survivors.”
In addition to providing comfort and courage to the “diminished, excluded, foundered”—we include one woman’s testimony in this issue—Olsen devoted herself to rescuing forgotten woman writers from obscurity. Thanks to her, for example, Rebecca Harding Davis' Life in the Iron Mills, which had been out of print since the mid-19th century, was reissued in 1972 by The Feminist Press. This issue is dedicated to Tillie Olsen and to the women whose struggles she documented in her stories and her essays: those whose voices have been heard belatedly or not at all, those whose work has been lost to us and never resurrected.
Issue 5 - February 2007
The Resurrection Issue
Waiting for Sappho
A Song of Captain Joan
Why Do Something If It Can Be Done
In Memoriam: Monique Wittig
The Loudest Self
Clear and Fierce
Adela C. Licona
akaDARKNESS: on Kathy Acker
Remembering Barbara Macdonald
The Making of Power
Octavia Butler: A note on Xenogenesis as a love story
Suzanne Montez Adams
The Essential Angel: Tillie Olsen
Notes on Contributors
We encourage writers who wanted to contribute to this issue and didn't get around to it to send us material for future issues; we intend to keep the flame of resurrection alive in these pages. As always, we invite contributions to our TRIVIAL LIVES column, which features feminist writers, artists and activists, living or departed, whose work has not been given the recognition it deserves.