Ten Reasons To Worship Rebecca West: The great overlooked writer and feminist.
At one time, the novelist, critic, feminist, and troublemaker Rebecca West, whose birthday incidentally is on Friday, was considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. In 1947, her picture was on the cover of Time and her dazzling, ferocious prose was admired across the world; but now she is largely overlooked, underread, and out of print. Here, then, are 10 reasons to drop everything and read Rebecca West (and rather than her best known book, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, I would suggest her stylish, innovative essays).
1) She was an ardent feminist (as she put it, “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute”) but also a spirited and independent thinker. She was not afraid to attack or mock the suffragist movement when necessary, but she was also one of its most vivid voices. (She once made fun of one of the feminists from the New Freewoman “who was always jumping up and asking us to be kind to illegitimate children, as if we all made a habit of seeking out illegitimate children and insulting them!”)