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A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation

Serpent's Tail ISBN 1-85242-431-1 $13.99

"...a mature anthology documenting the life of women in the Beat Generation with humour, irony and even tenderness." -- The List

Here are the forgotten women who marched to A Different Beat. They are women who revolted against conventional femininity--women who broke the rules. Their poetry and stories speak to post-feminist women of the '90s in ways that the travels and exploits of the male-dominated Beat counterculture can never hope to.

This collection contains work by 27 women who are the missing link to the riot grrrls, angry women, and Thelma and Louise. Now is the time to rescue this rich history from neglect and give the women of the literary renaissance called "Beat" a spotlight, a forum to sound a call to arms, a place to beat their own drums. They have been standing in the shadows long enough.

Learn more about Sheri Martinelli. She was one of the two mysteries of the book. I wish I'd talked to Steven Moore before I put the anthology together. See his article and more info about this Vogue model, Beat poet, Ezra Pound disciple, and her incredible life.

"In theory, I love the Beat writers, but in reality their unrelenting sexism and poor treatment of women gets to me. That's why I am so glad HighRisk has given us this great sampling of writing by women of the Beat Generation." --Bust Magazine

"Heroic Rick Peabody helps rescue the women of the Beat Generation from the neglect accorded them as being, in Joyce Johnson's words, Minor Charaters. Hardly surprising considering the position of women through the ages. Yet, the women are there, responding to and adding special qualities to 'the call'....The writings are provocative in themselves; they are indispensible for a full sense of the significance of the Beats in a world of men and women."
--Ted Wilentz

"It is as if we were archaeologists encountering the long lost tomb of the Beat Women of the 1950s, covered with the desert dust of misogyny, business interests and indifference. But polish off the dust of male convention and what have you and the words are beaming out strong."
--Kevin Ring, Beat Scene

"This well-balanced anthology, which should focus more attention on Beat women, is recommended for all literature collections."
--Library Journal

"But A Different Beat reveals an alternative history of Beat literature, and is a time of enormous change for women in America; Challenging the norms of their day, with painful, sometimes tragic consequences."
--The Herald (Glasgow)

"A Different Beat reveals an alternative history of Beat literature, and is a welcome insight and long-awaited addition to the Beat Canon."
--The Word

"A refreshing look at the contribution of women writers to the beat generation genre so often represented by Mr. Kerouac and his boozy boys club....this collection provides an informative link in feminist history as well as being a powerful collection of work in its own right."
--Tour

"There are some surprising treasures here."
--Publishers Weekly

"A Different Beat is a fine anthology of writing by outcasts from a previous boys' club, the Fifties beats."
--GQ Magazine

"The timing is perfect. Women seemed missing from official collections of Beat writing. The women I heard in Greenwich Village seemed rebels--daring, mysterious, strong, able with magical images to say what I hadn't heard women say....Present Tense writing by young women writing passionately from within, who insist women 'trust yourself' and refuse to be stereotyped, emerging award, conscious and engaged."
--Lyn Lifshin

"A Different Beat celebrates the voices of the women who participated in this important literary movement. Their work is essential in helping us understand the social and cultural context of their times."
--Ann Charters
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