Robert Leleux

 

Robert Leleux is the author of two books, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy (2008) and The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving (2012).  A columnist for The Texas Observer, he is also the managing editor of Lonny Magazine.  His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and the Utne Reader.     

Recent Articles

The Matriarch

Remembering Gerda Lerner, one of the founders of women’s history

AP/Wisconsin State Journal, Sarah B. Tews
AP/Wisconsin State Journal, Sarah B. Tews Gerda Lerner in 2001 A letter written by the incorrigible muckraker Jessica Mitford in November 1975 contains an amusing portrait of Gerda Lerner, a founder of the field of women’s history. The unlikely pair had been thrown together by overlapping residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center on Lake Como. The journalist recounts their collision to her daughter in an epistle that takes the form of a five-act comic play—with “grim” Gerda the object of one of the Mitford sister’s notorious teases. “Sample tease,” Mitford writes. ‘Gerda: ‘I’m here trying to structure my book...’ Me: ‘Really? How very quaint, I’m trying to write mine.’ I’ve got her so she doesn’t know which end is up,” writes Mitford, delighting in what was surely an unfamiliar posture for the formidable Lerner. The women’s differences are attributable to a clash of styles, not of their similar leftist principles. Mitford found the historian’s unrelieved earnestness...

Adrienne Rich, Poet of Change

Few literary luminaries succeed in melding a passion for social justice with a love of language.

(AP Photo/Adam Rountree, file)
Adrienne Rich, a poet and essayist whose righteous, resonant voice transformed American literature and consciousness, passed away last Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz, California. Beloved by the feminist and LGBT communities, Rich’s career spanned seven decades and more than 30 books. Though honored with a bevy of prizes (including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant), she remained resolutely outside the establishment, her radicalism seeming only to gather steam over time. When President Bill Clinton, for instance, offered her the National Medal of Arts in 1997, she famously declined. Taking heroic advantage of the ensuing press, she criticized the cynicism of an administration willing to honor a handful of token artists while slashing funding for the arts. “Art,” she said, “means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner-table of power which holds it hostage.” Rich was born in Baltimore in 1929, to a milieu of...