Remembering Grace Paley

Grace Paley, author, activist, extraordinary teacher, died of breast cancer August 22 at the age of 84.  She was a remarkable woman, and we interrupt your regularly-scheduled post to bring you a place where you can share your memories of Grace Paley, z'”l, by leaving your thoughts below.

4 comments on “Remembering Grace Paley

  1. Gail W. D. on

    I met Grace Paley about thirty years ago. She was on a panel of women writers, I believe at Northwestern University. What Paley said was to change my life for the next 20 years. She said, “We’ve been reading dead white males for too many years now. Go home and only read women.” I took her seriously and for the next two decades did not read any men. Then I started to think about what I was missing: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Henry James, James Joyce, Nabakov, etc., etc. and I decided if I wanted to be a writer I’d better read some of those dead white males. But I’m still partial to women writers because even though there are many who are dead and white, there aren’t enough of the living or dead in the literary canon, literary magazines, or on the lists of major publishers.
    Sincerely, Gail W. D.

  2. Julia Wolf Mazow on

    I knew Grace Paley was and but I was terribly sad to hear she died. Her life and her work have meant a lot to me for years. Each time I teach a class in Jewish women writers, I always begin with her “Debts” in which the narrator explains the importance of writing her stories “in order, you might say, to save a few lives.” 27 years ago she gave permission for me to use her “The Long Distance Runner” in THE WOMAN WHO LOST HER NAMES, and when, several years later, she came to Houston’s JCC Book Fair, she told me how much it meant for her to be included; I was the one who was honored. I was not surprised to see 2 obits for her headlined AMAZING GRACE. I will not forget her life or her work and hate to think of a world without her.
    sincerely,Julia Wolf Mazow

  3. Julia Wolf Mazow on

    correction: first sentence should read:
    I knew Grace Paley was ill and I was terribly sad to hear she died.

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