Mira Bartók—writer, artist, alum of my program at UMass, generous friend and above-and-beyond citizen of the lit and arts community—has won this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography for The Memory Palace:
a book that rose to the formal challenge of blending her mother’s journals, reflections on her mother’s mental illness and subsequent homelessness, and thoughts on her own recovery from a head injury to create a heartfelt yet respectful work of art.
A homeless woman, let’s call her my mother for now, or yours, sits on a window ledge in late afternoon in a working class neighborhood in Cleveland, or it could be Baltimore or Detroit. She is five stories up and below the ambulance is waiting, red lights flashing in the rain.
[painting: Mira Bartók]
This is a Soviet poster from 1932 dedicated to International Women’s Day. The red text reads: The 8th of March: A day of rebellion by working women against kitchen slavery.The grey text in lower right reads: Down with the oppression and vacuity of household work!
In Russia (where I lived for two years), International Women’s Day was marked the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the States. Men bought flowers for women. I worked in an ad agency, where the director presented—there was a ceremony of sorts— flowers to every woman in the office. It was the one day of the year when Russian women were allowed to put their feet up, when their husbands did some of the housework.
A woman wrote with a sparkler the number 2012 in the air near St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria.
Georg Hochmuth/European Pressphoto Agency
Ferdinand Schröder’s caricature of the defeat of the revolutions of 1848
Düsseldorfer Monatshefte, August 1849 [Wikipedia]
Michele’s show Amherst to Wakefield opens tomorrow in Chicago:
Friday October 14, 2011
1932 S Halsted St., Ste 401
50% of sales goes to Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education:
CAPE works toward a future in which young people are empowered, through education and the arts, to fully realize their academic, creative and personal potential. CAPE’s mission is to increase students’ academic success, critical thinking and creativity through research-based, arts driven education.
[see also: Chicago Arts District]