As near, I re-imagined the civilization of women in my first novel, The Red Tent, sustaining, and strong, but I am not the least bit nostalgic for that world without birth control, or antibiotics, or even the printed page. Girls were limited and exposed women are not permitted to see, a condition that persists, to mind, body, and spirit.
When I was a youngster, the public catalog on Osborne Terrace in Newark, New Jersey, was among the very first places I had been allowed to walk to me. Each week, I went, and I could draw on a map of the children's room, up a flight of stairs, evenwhere the Louisa May Alcott books were arranged to the left as you entered.
Nonfiction, near the center of the area, was filled up with biographies. I read several about Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, and Helen Keller.
However, at the time I was 11, the children's library was starting to feel confining,so I snuck downstairs to the adult stacks for a copy of The Good Earth. (I had uttered a grown-up dialogue about the novel and it sounded interesting.) The librarian at the desk said I was not old enough for my card and furthermore the novel entitled me to carry out children's novels and glanced at the name.
I defended my pick. I said I had been given permission, which was only a fib since my mother and father hadn't ever denied me some publication by my parents. Finally,the librarian relented and I walked successful. I had access to the BIG LIBRARY. My world would not ever be the same.
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