April 28th, 2011

wiscon, russ, SF

WHEN IT'S CHANGING: Joanna Russ in Hospice

According to SFsite,
Samuel R. Delany via Ron Drummond reports that Joanna Russ, the author of The Female Man and What Are We Fighting For?: Sex, Race, Class, and the Future of Feminism, among many other works of science fiction and scholarship, has been admitted to hospice after suffering a series of strokes. According to Drummond, Delany says that Russ is “slipping away” and has long had a “Do Not Resuscitate” on file.

May she go in peace to the Goddess -- or Whileaway -- or wherever she wants.

I love Joanna Russ. She spoke to my condition when nobody else would or could.

I've posted this elsewhere:
Can you wonder that I spent my childhood scrounging books wherever I could find them? My home town (Jackson, PA, pop. 35) is midway between Scranton, PA, and Binghamton, NY. Visits to my orthodontist in Scranton were my big chance to stop in at a junk shop where sometimes there were paperbacks. And once, memorably, Again, Dangerous Visions in hardback. It cost me a quarter. I read "When It Changed" right there in the store, kneeling by the back shelves, tears pouring down my face -- a 14-year-old dyke who wasn't alone in the universe any more.

If I'd realized that at the time she was actually teaching at SUNY Binghamton, I'd have crawled there on my knees. Decades later I was able to send her a fan letter through the offices of a good friend, and I have a scrawled postcard in reply.

Recent interview about slash.

Joanna Russ Interview with Samuel Delany (WisCon 30 event)
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ETA More quotes

Love is a radiation disease.

In love as in pain, in misery, in trouble.

If you expect me to observe your taboos, I think you will have to be more precise as to exactly what they are.

Anyone who lives in two worlds ... is bound to have a complicated life.

There is some barrier between Jeannine and real life that can be removed only by a man or by marriage.

O of all diseases self-hate is the worst and I don't mean for the one who suffers it!

Men's suits are designed to inspire confidence even if the men can't.

This book is written in blood.
Is it written entirely in blood?
No, some of it is written in tears.
Are the blood and tears all mine?
Yes, they have been in the past. But the future is a different matter.

Praise God, Whose image we put in the plaza to make the eleven-year-olds laugh. She has brought me home.

Oh, Joanna. Verweile doch, du bist so schoen.