Posts Tagged ‘women’s personal writing’
Feminist writer and activist Maxine Hong Kingston talks to me about using Walt Whitman as a character, why she loves Virginia Woolf, and superstitions about writing on SMITH magazine.
Tags: classic literature, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, Kate Millet, Kate Millet Flying, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maxine Hong Kingston interview, Memoir, Orlando, SMITH magazine, superstition, vanity, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, women's personal writing, writing
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This week I interviewed journalist and memoirist Karol Nielsen about her upcoming book Black Elephants, set to be released in Fall 2011. She has much to say about her post-college travels to Argentina and the Middle East as well as women’s literary voices. Take a peek on The Daily BR!NK.
Meghan McCain’s diary-like account of her father’s campaign trail is a quick read. A fresh college graduate, McCain forfeits her plans of graduate school or opening up a clothing boutique and decides to follow her parents on the road to presidency. From the beginning, McCain identifies her father’s campaign to be out of touch with the younger crowd and aims to rally this demographic with her blog McCainBlogette.com. McCain contributes to her father’s campaign by documenting their travels with a twenty-something’s voice, including photographs and inside jokes. While on the twenty-month trail, McCain runs into snarky territory with other campaign workers, gets sent to an image consultant in California, and is eventually asked to leave the campaign.
Between lack of sleep, Coca-Cola consumption, and squeezing into her Spanx, McCain recounts her first meeting with the Palins and her father’s reluctance to share his running mate’s identity with his family. McCain feels betrayed when she learns that Sarah Palin was invited to the family’s ranch and struggles with how to relate to Palin and her children.
McCain is not a perceptive or particularly compelling writer, but she’s not trying to be. When retelling events from the campaign, McCain sticks to the same tactile details: UGG boots, makeup, and outfits. She inhabits a friendly, impassioned tone when addressing her readers, perpetually flogging the central idea that her father is not a bad person and that she was raised to think for herself. She shares memories from her childhood and past elections, specifically being approached by reporters at a young age and her reaction to her father’s famous comment on her hypothetical pregnancy. She lightly muses on the conditions of being a “daughter-of” — the pressures endured by daughters of political figures and the standards they impose on one another.
McCain does touch on some more complex topics, grazing them with her bubbly voice as she observes the sexism that ravages female candidates, the manipulation of campaign managers, and the stigma of being called a RINO (Republicans in Name Only). Her account from the makeup chair, more amiable than poignant, does provide a narration uncommonly paired with politics and thus a different point of view of McCain’s campaign. As the moderate Republican with the “stripper hair” and glittery heels, McCain’s confessional, vernal writing succeeds in garnering sympathy as the odd girl out of the GOP. As passionate about the future of the Republican party as she is about her Diane von Furstenberg dress, McCain addresses her own political beliefs superficially, encouraging her young Republican readers to consider more moderate social views while retaining their belief in small government.
To read more about Meghan McCain, click here.
Tags: 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, Cindy McCain, Dirty Sexy Politics, family, John McCain, mccain blogette, Meghan McCain, Republican, RINO, Sarah Palin, sexism, women in media, women in politics, women's personal writing
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