The Women; Hilton Als
- Unit Price
A New York Times Notable Book Daring and fiercely original, The Women is at once a memoir, a psychological study, a sociopolitical manifesto, and an incisive adventure in literary criticism. It is conceived as a series of portraits analyzing the role that sexual and racial identity played in the lives and work of the writer's his mother, a self-described "Negress," who would not be defined by the limitations of race and gender; the mother of Malcolm X, whose mixed-race background and eventual descent into madness contributed to her son's misogyny and racism; brilliant, Harvard-educated Dorothy Dean, who rarely identified with other blacks or women, but deeply empathized with white gay men; and the late Owen Dodson, a poet and dramatist who was female-identified and who played an important role in the author's own social and intellectual formation. Hilton Als submits both racial and sexual stereotypes to his inimitable scrutiny with relentless humor and sympathy. The results are exhilarating. The Women is that rarest of a memorable work of self-investigation that creates a form of all its own.
May 31, 1996
About the Author
Hilton Als is an American writer and theater critic who writes for The New Yorker magazine. Previously, he had been a staff writer for The Village Voice and editor-at-large at Vibe magazine.
His 1996 book The Women focuses on his mother, who raised him in Brooklyn, Dorothy Dean, and Owen Dodson, who was a mentor and lover of Als. In the book, Als explores his identification of the confluence of his ethnicity, gender and sexuality, moving from identifying as a "Negress" and then an "Auntie Man", a Barbadian term for homosexuals.
Als's 2013 book 'White Girls' continued to explore race, gender, identity in a series of essays about everything from the AIDS epidemic to Richard Pryor's life and work.
In 2000, Als received a Guggenheim fellowship for creative writing and the 2002–03 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. In 2004 he won the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, which provided him half a year of free working and studying in Berlin.
Als has taught at Smith College, Wesleyan, and Yale University, and his work has also appeared in The Nation, The Believer, and the New York Review of Books.