Research & Action Report Fall/Winter 2005

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is proud to announce the relaunch of Women’s Review of Books! Founded by WCW in 1983, Women’s Review was published monthly for 22 years before suspending publication in December, 2004, due to rising debt. Women’s Review will return in January, 2006, as a bimonthly tabloid.

As before, Women’s Review will publish in-depth reviews of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry by and about women, as well as essays, poems, and author interviews. Many of the most acclaimed and influential feminist scholars and writers in the country have appeared—and will continue to be featured—in its pages, and the publication will continue to provide a forum where women’s studies scholars and feminist activists can exchange ideas, research, and experience. In a new feature, each issue of Women’s Review will also highlight the work of a photographer or cartoonist.

The re-launch was made possible by a new partnership between WCW and Old City Publishing (OCP), a small publisher of journals and books in Philadelphia. The editorial offices of Women’s Review will continue to be located at WCW, while advertising, subscription fulfillment, and production will move to OCP.

“For more than two decades, we proudly published and supported Women’s Review of Books,” says Susan McGee Bailey, WCW’s executive director. “Suspending publication was a very difficult decision for us to make, but it was fiscally necessary. We are delighted that Old City Publishing is collaborating with us, and we look forward to a long,
successful relationship and to our first jointly produced edition next winter.”

“I am thrilled,” says Amy Hoffman, returning editor in chief. “Women’s Review readers have always known that they could turn to us for insight into feminist issues, and we are ready to once again provide them with serious and informed discussion of new writing by and about women. They’ve missed us, and I’ve missed doing this exciting work.”

Like other specialty publications, Women’s Review faced increasing financial debt with the changing publishing environment of the 1990s. Support letters from subscribers and advertisers alike, however, helped to buoy the staff as they met with potential publishing partners throughout the winter and spring. Pledges to advertise and subscribe served as key indicators of the publication’s future success, and OCP has begun processing both renewals and new advertising contracts to cover operating expenses. Holiday gift subscriptions will provide a crucial initial boost to the re-launch.

Ian Mellanby, OCP publishing director, is enthusiastic. “Old City Publishing is confident we can guide the publication beyond even its former levels of success in terms of content, design, and international perspective. Women’s Review will continue to provide a unique view of today’s literary landscape and is the advertising medium of choice for publishers of books by and about women.”

Highlights from the Women’s Review of Books January/February 2006 comeback issue include:

  • Dorothy Allison on An Atomic Romance, the new novel by Bobbie Ann Mason.
  • Linda Gordon on The Solitude of Self: Thinking about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, by Vivian Gornick.
  • Farah Jasmine Griffin on With Billie, Julia Blackburn’s oral history of Billie Holiday.
  • Bitch magazine editor Andi Zeisler on The New Single Woman, by Kay Trimberger, and Marriage: A History from Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz.
  • Comedian and author of What the L, Kate Clinton, on why we don’t see women hosting late night talk shows.
  • Carol Seajay on what ‘40s and ‘50s pulp novels, reissued by The Feminist Press, Cleis Press, and others, have to offer today’s readers.
  • Bettina Brandt on the “secret library,” suppressed writings from pre-unification East Germany.
  • Suzanne Ruta interviews Doha Boraki, the smart and engaging Moroccan feminist, novelist, and translator.
  • Jasmin Darznik reviews A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan, by Nelofer Pazira.
  • Marguerite Itamar Harrison reviews First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix, by Brazilian writer Regina Rheda.

All editorial inquiries, books to be considered for review, and publisher’s catalogues should be directed to

Amy Hoffman
Women’s Review of Books
Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
781.283.2555
ahoffman@wellesley.edu

Requests for subscriptions or advertising information should be directed to

Ian Mellanby
Old City Publishing
628 North Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215.925.4390
ian@oldcitypublishing.com

Subscription forms can be downloaded directly from www.oldcitypublishing.com.

To find content from back issues and a complete index to Women’s Review of Books, please visit the archive pages.