In this candid and intimate collection of essays, poems, memoirs, reviews, rants, and railleries, Piercy discusses her own development as a working-class feminist, the highs and lows of TV culture, the ego-dances of a writer’s life, the homeless and the housewife, Allen Ginsberg and Marilyn Monroe, feminist utopias (and why she doesn’t live in one), why fiction isn’t physics; and of course, fame, sex, and money, not necessarily in that order. The short essays, poems, and personal memoirs intermingle like shards of glass that shine, reflect—and cut. Always personal yet always political, Piercy’s work is drawn from a deep well of feminist and political activism.
Also featured is the Outspoken Interview, in which the author lays out her personal rules for living on Cape Cod, finding your poetic voice, and making friends in Cuba.
My Life, My Body
Publisher: PM Press/Outspoken Authors
Page count: 128
Subjects: Women’s Studies/Literature-Collection $12.00
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review:
This pithy collection of essays and poems condenses Piercy’s sharp wit and ruthless clarity into a crystalline set of provocations brimming with earthy good sense, social awareness, and “the dignity of necessary work.” Piercy (Made in Detroit) wields the no-nonsense approach of the working writer who has earned her place through many trials and can speak with an authority that peels away mental flab and pierces complacency. She demands art and literature that will “change consciousness a tiny bit at a time.” Her prose is lean, efficient, and full of muscle, tearing through the tissue of illusion around gentrification, censorship, fame, and Marilyn Monroe, while the counterpoised poetry, unabashedly and urgently political, lobs cannonballs from the side of the disenfranchised and invisible. A self-proclaimed “socialist-anarchist-feminist,” Piercy delivers a precise and devastating critique of political showmanship, corporate greed, economic insecurity, and the constant debate over ownership of and access to women’s bodies. Rife with a passionate sense of justice and dry, direct humor, this slim, essential volume ignites the mind and validates the function of activist art.