Posts Tagged Ellen Willis

Not Oprah’s Book Club: The Essential Ellen Willis

I owe so much, as a writer and feminist, to Ellen Willis. And given how much of her work has remained uncollected or gone out of print, I suspect that we collectively owe her much more than has yet been accounted for. This month’s publication of The Essential Ellen Willis will, I hope, urge the accounting. Edited by her daughter, journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz, this sprawling book surveys four decades of the cultural critic’s writing, beginning with the emergence of radical feminism in the late 1960s and continuing to the near present. (Willis died in 2006.)  [Ed note: this was at a time when "radical feminism" was more broadly defined and did not mean anti-sex worker and ...

I owe so much, as a writer and feminist, to Ellen Willis. And given how much of her work has remained uncollected or gone out of print, I suspect that we collectively owe her much more ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Out of the Vinyl Deeps


Feminist rock critic Ellen Willis testing an album by dancing in front of the mirror.

In 1968, when Ellen Willis was 26 years old and pop music criticism was barely even a thing yet, she was hired as The New Yorker’s very first rock critic. One of the only women in the male-dominated scene, Willis wrote 56 columns over seven years and greatly influenced the nascent genre.

By the ‘80s, however, Willis had moved on to focus on the sharp feminist and political writing for which she’s best known. But now, thanks to her daughter and Feministing friend Nona, her impressive collection of music criticism can be found in place: Out of the Vinyl Deeps.

I ...


Feminist rock critic Ellen Willis testing an album by dancing in front of the mirror.

In 1968, when Ellen Willis was 26 years old and pop music criticism was barely even a thing ...