A Full Moon of Women
Paperback, jacketed, 160 pages, 5.5 x 8.5", 1993, 0-929701-32-1
This book — subtitled "29 word portraits of notable women from different times and places, + 1 void of course"— is a powerful, unsettling vision of heroines whose rebellious daring shaped the meaning of the female experience throughout history. These miniature biographies feature Charlotte Corday, Joan of Arc, Lucy Goodale Thurston, Clara Schumann, Simone Weil, Alice Neel, Zenobia, Mu-Lan Hwa, Adele Hugo, among many others, even Snow White. Molinaro's prose impacts with consistent force, resurrecting in the tradition of Anais Nin and Djuna Barnes these forgotten or disparaged women in all their talent and suffering.
"'May you never have a child who's a saint,' Simone Weil's mother told her daughter's biographer in exasperation. Prodigies often fatigue the ordinary if well-meaning parent. Yet in the novelist and playwright Ursule Molinaro's spirited new collection . . . it's a sentiment echoed not just by parents but by spouses, lovers, and offspring of the notable women who are examined here: writers, warriors, scientists, artists, mystics, martyrs. . . . Molinaro is at her best when showing these women, warts and all — the compromises of ambition, the hesitations of character. As in her longer fiction, Ms. Molinaro displays a poetic eye for detail in these short sketches." — New York Times Book Review