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Grace Paley’s Life Stories

Grace Paley’s Life Stories

by Judith Arcana

Grace Paley's Life Stories, the biography of renowned author and activist Grace Paley, explores the roots of her political consciousness and traces her work as an activist as it grew into her work as a storyteller. Grace teaches us what it takes and how to do it: Calling for liberation, peace and justice, crying out to save the burning earth, demanding healthcare for all and the right of women to determine the course of their lives. Her struggle through the decades — in the streets and in her stories — is the same as our struggle, right now.

Though Grace died in 2007, her work as an activist and writer lives. Grace Paley’s Life Stories is a tool for understanding the past, and for using the past to create the future we need. Grace’s commitment to hope, and the work necessary to sustain it, continues to inspire activists, writers — and everybody else.

312 pages, paperback
5.25" x 8", with dustjacket

Praise for Grace Paley's Life Stories":

“If you want to know how Grace Paley came to be a tireless political activist and renowned writer — and how she united these callings so completely — read Grace Paley’s Life Stories. This is a book unlike any other I know — not a big brick of biography, nor an opaque literary study. The words in the title, Life Stories, are exactly right: This book is the story of the life from which Grace Paley made her extraordinary stories.”
Carol Sklenicka, author of Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life and Much Love: The Life and Work of Alice Adams

“We must keep Grace Paley’s Life Stories always available. Grace is still an exemplar to writers who would tell good stories, and to citizens who would save the world.”
Maxine Hong Kingston

“Judith Arcana’s biography of Grace Paley interweaves biography, social history and literary criticism to create an astute and endearing portrait of a woman who lived large in both literature and political activism.”
Patricia Kullberg, author of Girl in the River and On the Ragged Edge of Medicine

“To have watched Grace Paley play pingpong, wild hair flying, in mismatched borrowed clothes (her luggage having been waylaid at the airport), was to bear witness to a joyous freedom. Let us delight and fight in her incomparable spirit.”
Evelyn C. White, author of Alice Walker: A Life