History of Marketing and Newsletters Part 5 Literature and Women

About the history of marketing and newsletters, about some popular newsletters about women's issues and literature.

A Newsletter on Newsletters

Dickens and Waugh, Browning and Steinbeck, Poe and Fitzgerald--newsletters cover them all. In a leisurely, scholarly style, students of literature dissect the works of their favorite authors, review the latest books about them, and report on the newest research. Newsletters in the literary field are usually quarterly, semi-annual, or annual offerings. An example is the annual Sinclair Lewis Newsletter. Some 20 pages are filled with articles by Lewis devotees. In a recent issue, an article analyzes Lewis's Dodsworth in an effort to answer a recurring question: If Lewis's writing was as inept as some of his critics say, how could he ". . . attract and hold millions of readers, win both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, and, today, 2 decades after his death, have 10 titles in paperback?" (Subscription $1 per year [1 issue]. Write: English Dept., School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Cloud State College, St. Cloud, Minn. 56301.)

About women, by women, and for women is The Spokeswoman. Publisher Susan Davis and editor Karen Wellisch report news of feminist achievement such as the establishment of the First Women's Bank of New York. According to The Spokeswoman, the bank is run primarily by women and offers a wide range of banking services tailored to women's needs. Also recorded are battles yet to be won: for example, news of action by feminist groups to gather evidence of discrimination in insurance policies. "The insurance industry," said the monthly newsletter, "is still writing policies as if the typical American family unit is a husband working and the wife staying home to take care of the kids."

A recent issue of The Spokeswoman tells of a protest in Indiana by women law students. They levied a charge of sexism against a State bar examination which read in part: "At a State-owned and-operated university in the Middle Western U.S., Clytemnestra Toris is the only thorn in the side of Mr. Strait Mouth, Dean of Students. Ms. (of course!) Toris, a career student, who most recently has been pursuing a graduate degree in 'Mind-Leveling,' publishes and distributes on campus and environs a newspaper 'devoted to the elimination of men.' Despite many counseling sessions, she insists on calling her publication The Daily Dildo. . . ." (Founded in 1971, The Spokeswoman is available at "$9 a year by individual check--$16 by institutional check." Write to 5464 South Shore Dr., Chicago, Ill. 60615.)

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