[UCP Books]: A Story Larger than My Own: Women Writers Look Back On their Lives and Careers

“This is more than a must-read book, this is a book of psalms, of truths—a book every writer, or reader, should own.”–Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of My Life as a Silent Movie and Space: A Memoir

A Story Larger than My Own 

Women Writers Look Back On their Lives and Careers
Edited by Janet Burroway
US Publication Date: March 31, 2014 Foreign Publication Date: April 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-226-01410-4 Paper $18.00/ £12.50

In 1955, an aspiring female poet submitted her poem “Lines on a Half-Painted House” to the Saturday Evening Post. The magazine asked this young writer to produce verification—via her husband’s employer—that the poem was her original work. The poem did get published in the magazine, and its author, Maxine Kumin, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Kumin was part of a groundbreaking generation of women writers who came of age during the midcentury feminist movement. By challenging the status quo and ultimately finding success for themselves, they paved the way for future generations of writers. In A Story Larger than My Own, Janet Burroway brings together Kumin, Julia Alvarez, Jane Smiley, Erica Jong, and fifteen other accomplished women of this generation to reflect on their writing lives.

Through their essays and poems, they show that even writers who achieve critical and commercial success experience a familiar pattern of highs and lows over the course of their careers. Taken together, these stories offer advice from experience to writers at all stages of their careers and serve as a collective memoir of a truly remarkable generation of women. Contributors include:

Julia Alvarez Patricia Henley Edith Pearlman
Margaret Atwood Erica Jong Hilda Raz
Madeleine Blais Marilyn Krysl Jane Smiley
Rosellen Brown Maxine Kumin Laura Tohe
Judith Ortiz Cofer Honor Moore Hilma Wolitzer
Toi Derricotte Alicia Ostriker  
Gail Godwin Linda Pastan


Janet Burroway is the author of eight novels, including The Buzzards and Raw Silk; two best-selling textbooks, Writing Fiction and Imaginative Writing; and the memoir Losing Tim. She is also the author of numerous plays, short stories, poetry collections, and children’s books. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at Florida State University and divides her time between Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Chicago.


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