Friday, February 26, 2010

Early Praise for BETWEEN THE SHEETS by Lesley McDowell

Just releasing is a new book the explores the literary liasons of nine women writers: Between the Sheets. Author and critic Lesley McDowell explores nine famous literary liaisons of the twentieth century and examines the extent to which each woman was prepared to put artistic ambition before personal happiness, and how dependent on their male writing partners these women felt themselves to be. Here's a sampling of early opinion:

"A fresh and revealing look at the mating habits of literary giants. Author Lesley McDowell examines the famously explosive love affairs of great women writers and finds that there was purpose to their passion and method to their madness. Where others see victims, she sees pioneers who were blazing their own literary, emotional, and sexual trails. We feel as if we are meeting Sylvia Plath, Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir, and their “sisters” for the very first time." -Deborah Davis, author of Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X and Gilded

"Lesley McDowell's Between the Sheets brings humor as well as empathy to a scrutiny of women writers' love affairs. Her implicit interest is the source of aesthetic passion, and in her study of Katherine Mansfield, Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir, Martha Gellhorn, Sylvia Plath and others, she comes to sometimes surprising insights." -Linda Wagner-Martin, author of Sylvia Plath: A Biography and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald: An American Woman's Story

“Critic, novelist and literary journalist McDowell (The Picnic) takes a scholarly but fascinating look at the love lives of women writers, revealing how writers like Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir and Sylvia Plath were affected by their romantic liaisons…Would they have become writers without their entanglements with these men? And was success in their art ultimately worth the heartbreak? This stirring account lets their devotees decide.” – Publishers Weekly
“McDowell culls her information from diaries, letters, and journals, which, in all, makes for a thorough but accessible reading. The information being imparted is not revelatory, but the subtle, argumentative slant of the text is laudable for its elevation of women commonly stereotyped as victims who lived passive lives in relation to the men they loved. Anyone interested in some crisp, literary gossip should take a look at this book.” – Feminist Review