What We Are Reading Today: Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins

Updated 21 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins

  • The book is a historical novel based on the first females that were accepted and lived on campus at Yale

Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins is a historical novel based on the first females that were accepted and lived on campus at Yale starting the summer term of 1969.

“This is an academic work although written in a very accessible style for the average reader,” said a review in goodreads.com.

It said the book “started as a graduate paper and morphed into a dissertation over time.”

The review also said Perkins “really allows readers into the lives of several of the students and one administrator in particular.”

It said the author “straddles the line nicely between fitting in the comprehensive detailed research she managed and making it interesting enough that someone mighty think it was a novel.”

Perkins grew up in Baltimore and attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in history and was the first woman editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. 

She has spent her life in education, from urban high school teacher to elected school committee member. 

She has presented papers on higher education at leading conferences.

Although Yale Needs Women’s principal focus is on, well, women at Yale, Perkins also weaves in a lot of events that were also happening at the time and impacted Yale life, such at the Black Panther movement and the Vietnam War.


What We Are Reading Today: Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer by Carol Sklenicka

Updated 16 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer by Carol Sklenicka

Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer captures not just a beloved woman’s life in full, but a crucial span of American history. 

Blake Bailey said in a review for The New York Times: “The disappointments of romance — ‘the great subject’of Adams’s life and work, as Carol Sklenicka writes in her new biography, Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer — were all the more muddled with her other great subject, family misery. 

“Indeed, Adams’ youth was largely a matter of amassing material for the late-blooming literary career. The end of her dismal marriage to Mark Linenthal coincided with her first published story, Winter Rain, at 32, whereupon she resumed having love affairs for many years.”

Bailey added: “As a writer Adams was often compared to Mary McCarthy, Jane Austen and John Updike, but her own favorite touchstone was F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose work she read again and again. Certainly, Adams’ stories tend to proceed as a series of evocative, loosely ordered set pieces, impressions — or better just call them memories.”