Taking a Long Look: Incisive essays expose feminism knowledge gaps

Book review: Collection of Vivian Gornick’s writing on culture, literature and feminism from 1970s to today

Vivian Gornick offers a fascinating insight into what has been achieved and what has been lost during the five decades when she has been writing.

Vivian Gornick offers a fascinating insight into what has been achieved and what has been lost during the five decades when she has been writing.

A year into the pandemic, brutal stories are emerging about how the associated lockdowns and school closures have disproportionately affected women. In WhatsApp groups, on social media and in the press, women have been speaking out about the almost unmanageable toil of homeschooling and caring for children while schools and childcare facilities are closed.

Those women come to mind while reading Taking a Long Look, a new collection of essays from the American writer Vivian Gornick. Best known for her 1987 memoir Fierce Attachments, Gornick (85) is a shrewd, droll and avowedly feminist essayist and critic. These previously published writings, collected in reverse chronological order (from the late 2010s to early 1970s), offer a fascinating insight into what has been achieved and what has been lost during those five decades.

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