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Some Thoughts about Grace Paley

Judith Arcana
p. 21-23

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Studied authors :

Grace Paley

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en septembre 2017.

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In the following lines, Judith Arcana, Paley's friend and biographer, evokes Paley’s fortitude and firmness of purpose as she took part in the major protest movements of her time. It is from this passion for social justice and freedom that the author drew much of her energy and artistic inspiration.


Grace Paley, who died in August of 2007, was one of the great masters of the short story form; she also wrote poems and essays that tell us, in her startlingly clear voice, things we need to know. A lifelong activist, she focused on anti-militarism, the conditions of women’s lives, and urgent environmental issues.

Though Grace did not repeatedly confront the armed thugs of domestic terrorism in the USA, as Fannie Lou Hamer did, or as Susan Wicklund does now, she was a street activist all her life—beginning literally in childhood. She was tough and she was solid, saying the way to be of use on marches and at demonstrations is to “sit down and stay down.”

I don't think Grace made her decis...

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Référence papier

Judith Arcana, « Some Thoughts about Grace Paley », Journal of the Short Story in English, 65 | 2015, 21-23.

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Judith Arcana, « Some Thoughts about Grace Paley », Journal of the Short Story in English [En ligne], 65 | Autumn 2015, mis en ligne le 01 septembre 2017, consulté le 20 août 2017. URL :


Judith Arcana

Judith Arcana is the author of Grace Paley’s Life Stories: A Literary Biography. Her most recent publications are Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture (fiction, 2015) and the forthcoming poetry collection Here From Somewhere Else. Other recent works are a set of three lyric broadsides, The Water Portfolio (2014); a fiction zine, Keesha and Joanie and JANE (2013); and a poetry chapbook, The Parachute Jump Effect (2012).

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