About the Event:
Join playwright Normandy Sherwood, feminist scholar Kara Jesella and writer Emily Gould for a discussion of the life and legacy of one of the early 20th century's most scandalous and enduringly relevant memoirists. Mary MacLane, famous at 19 for her bold and frankly self-involved writing, blazed a path for modern writers yet died in obscurity. What can we learn from her short and adventurous life? Is there such a thing as "feminist narcissism," and what purpose might it serve? Learn more about the 1881-born woman who's been called "America's first blogger."
About I Await the Devil's Coming:
Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming is a shocking, brave and intellectually challenging diary of a 19-year-old girl living in Butte, Montana in 1902. Written in potent, raw prose that propelled the author to celebrity upon publication, the book has become almost completely forgotten.
In the early 20th century, MacLane’s name was synonymous with sexuality; she is widely hailed as being one of the earliest American feminist authors, and critics at the time praised her work for its daringly open and confessional style. In its first month of publication, the book sold 100,000 copies — a remarkable number for a debut author, and one that illustrates MacLane’s broad appeal.
Now, with a new foreward written by critic Jessa Crispin, I Await The Devil’s Coming stands poised to renew its reputation as one of America’s earliest and most powerful accounts of feminist thought and creativity.
Emily Gould is the author of And The Heart Says Whatever and the forthcoming novel Friendship. She is co-owner of Emily Books.
Kara Jesella has been a writer and editor at several magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, and co-authored How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Magazine of All Time, which was published by Faber & Faber in 2007. She is currently a PhD candidate in New York University’s Performance Studies department, where her work focuses on feminist art and the Internet. She used to have a blog; now she has a Tumblr.
Normandy Sherwood is a playwright, costumer and writing teacher in New York City. Her theater company is The National Theater of the United States of America.