RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksAs a beautifully pieced patchwork of fascinating archival material from 21 libraries and collections on two continents, MAS (as Moulton calls the group, and as I’ll call the book) combines immense narrative interest with delightful detail. It practically begs to be made into a miniseries featuring dashing women in trousers, neckties, tea gowns, and/or academic gowns—complete with vaguely bohemian London flats, rainy train stations, lesbian love triangles, secret love children, cute cats, devoted dogs, pastoral picnics, and tragic telegrams. Though some of the women stipulated that certain personal papers should be destroyed, the towering boxes of letters, journals, newspaper clippings, theater programs, photographs, and manuscripts that survived clearly provided Moulton with everything that was necessary to reanimate the women’s voices and perspectives. MAS is also an illuminating work of analysis that engages substantively with and contributes to scholarship on women’s history, queer history, and the histories of childhood, friendship, and higher education. And it provides literary-critical thrills to fans and scholars of DLS, offering fresh ways to read the Peter Wimsey mysteries Busman’s Honeymoon (often considered a minor or marginal work in the Sayers canon) and Gaudy Night (commonly acknowledged as one of DLS’s greatest achievements). By placing these texts primarily in the context of DLS’s network of friendships, Moulton makes them new.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksRobin Wasserman’s Girls on Fire is as intense as adolescence and as dark as a dream. Like a half-repressed memory, it altered the atmosphere of my days as I read it, causing the air around me to shimmer with menace like heat waves on a highway.
PanThe Los Angeles Review of BooksSpinster begins with overstated claims about the all-importance of marriage, but it quickly turns around and acts as if marital status is irrelevant — an equally inaccurate assumption ... my fundamental resistance to Spinster isn’t just about the bait and switch of its title and content. It comes down to the way Bolick’s small and not especially spinster-based archive radically limits the potential of her book, both culturally and politically ... The author of Spinster champions an individualistic kind of feminism, but she is uninterested in reflecting on the politics of marriage as a system and the way its oppressiveness might prompt privileged people like herself to seek alliances with people she pushes to the margins: poor people, queer people, people of color.