Uncategorized | November 16, 2004

In The Missouri Review 24:1 (2001), Charlotte Templin published her interview with Alix Kates Shulman, author of twelve books, including four novels, three children’s books, a biography of Emma Goldman and two edited collections of Goldman’s essays. Her novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen is widely recognized as the first important novel to emerge from the women’s liberation movement. In recent years she has earned acclaim with two memoirs: Drinking the Rain and A Good Enough Daughter.


Schulman: When I wrote Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen in the early seventies, an era of great social upheaval, I was far more interested in the invisible social forces that mold family than in family influences. I drew heavily on my own life, in part because I was writing my first novel, and I was not sure how much fictionalizing I could get away with. But in the novel I was not trying to portray myself; rather I wanted to portray a certain white, middle-class, Midwestern suburban girl of that era, subject to all the forces of sexism that had yet to be articulated in fiction. In A Good Enough Daughter, I set out to accomplish something different. With the knowledge of sixty-some years behind me, realizing that family—the subject of the book—is far more important in shaping a life than I admitted in my youth, I tried to explore the meaning to me of my family, a subject absent from the forward-looking Prom Queen. My other books have all recounted journeys. In this one, I’m going home.