Joanna Russ (1937 - 2011)
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sad news today. Joanna Russ, the award-winning author and literary critic, died at age 74 on Friday, in Tucson, Arizona. She'd been in poor health (with chronic fatigue and other problems) for a long while, and had been in hospice care in Tucson since suffering a stroke in February.
Joanna, for those unfamiliar with her brilliant work, was one of the leading pioneers of feminist sf/fantasy in the 1970s/1980s, and her books (including the groundbreaking novel The Female Man, 1975, and the insightful nonfiction text How to Suppress Women's Writing, 1984) were deeply important to my generation of feminist writers/editors. In an sf/fantasy field where we now take it for granted that women, too, can be influential writers, editors, critics, and publishers, Joanna's sharp, lucid, provocative writing lives on in every feminist's work. We are all her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters...with a few sons and grandsons in there too. Rest in peace, great lady.