Dworkin did have something of a preacher’s scorched moral indignation, an eloquence borne of her own experiences as a prostitute, rape survivor, and battered wife. And like any great firebrand, she did not brake for nuance ... But Last Days also reveals a more measured writer than many might remember. Dworkin was a talented stylist, and however aggrieved or incensed her arguments, she expressed them with meticulous lucidity. And even occasional wit ... The book also highlights Dworkin’s vulnerability, a trait that subsequent caricatures all but obliterated. Indeed, Last Days at Hot Slit may find a more receptive audience today than Dworkin ever had during her lifetime ... Dworkin was more than the writer of alarming misandrist screeds that critics made her out to be. At her best, she looked with ultraviolet clarity at how much women are forced to endure, to accept, to apologize for, to clean up, to sacrifice, to suffer just because they are women. She understood that a woman’s lot in life is often permanent and has the vivid pathos of a scar.
The hallmarks of Dworkin’s writing are all there: the confident strut; the incantatory repetition; the startling, belligerent language; the ruthless whittling down of options to a single, irrevocable point ('my only chance'). This was someone who thought deeply and read widely and was preoccupied with questions not only of justice but also of style. Last Days at Hot Slit, a new anthology of Dworkin’s work, shows that the caricature of her as a simplistic man-hater, a termagant in overalls, could only be sustained by not reading what she actually wrote ... Dworkin composed her work from a personal place, but she didn’t contain her experience in anecdote; she extrapolated, she deduced, she pronounced ... The women’s movement in Dworkin’s unyielding universe was no mere lifestyle choice; it was a matter of life and death.
Dworkin was a lucid, scarily persuasive writer ... The anthology is as much an account of Dworkin’s life as it is a presentation of her work ... What’s so exciting to watch, reading Last Days, is not [Dworkin's] political trajectory but the way her style crystallized around her beliefs ... [Dworkin's] sentences barrel forward, strong-arming the reader with unlikely pauses or abrupt images; they force 'you to breathe where I do, instead of letting you discover your own natural breath' ... The baroque logic of Dworkin’s arguments is usually balanced by the straightforward conviction that she gave them on the page ... [Dworkin's] prose has a swift, natural fluidity that reveals a holistic view of humanity; on a single page she brings together close readings of novels, historiography, etymology, political crusading, and philosophical meditations that themselves would be at home in a (great) novel.