Shakespeare's Sisters | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Shakespeare's Sisters 

"It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare," Virginia Woolf claimed in her 1929 literary call-to-arms, "A Room of One's Own." In fact, if Shakespeare had had a talented sister, she would have worked too hard, married early and died young, without having written a word. Despite the fact that great and complicated female characters--Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth, Portia--pervaded the bard's plays, circumstance would never allow such a woman to exist off the page, a writer like her brother, a creator of worlds. Yet in the early years of the 20th century, the feminist author saw a few rays of hope for women writers, and she enjoined them fiercely to change the course of history. "The opportunity will come," she wrote, "and the dead poet who was Shakespeare's sister will put on the body she has so often laid down."

Among those today putting on that body are three women writers from the Triangle, each with a book on the verge of coming out this year. In this issue we feature their original work, starting with a short-short by June Spence, a Raleigh native who has published one award-winning book of stories and has a novel on the way. Pittsboro author Rosanne Coggeshall follows with poems from Fire or Fire, her first volume in two decades, of which Annie Dillard has already written, "Some of these poems are absolutely stunning monuments. They are masterpieces." And topping off the trio is Pamela Duncan, a first-time novelist from Graham whose saga Moon Women captures a small-town Carolina both familiar and endangered by our rapidly changing culture.

"Great poets do not die," Woolf explained at the end of her argument. "They are continuing presences. They only need the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh." Spence, Coggeshall, Duncan and many other contemporary women have had the talent and good fortune to find that opportunity. Finally, they walk among us, these sisters of Shakespeare, bringing to life their lives.

More by The Editors

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Let's imagine these Icon prisoners that do have stimuli; being cuffed to the rear with handcuffs too tight,
summer heat …

by John Wong on What life is like in solitary confinement at North Carolina's Central Prison (News Feature)

Get real Rebekah. If you are here illegally you do not have the rights associated with legality. Certainly the inability …

by adnan pitrian on What rights do undocumented immigrants have when they become crime victims? (News Feature)

Most Recent Comments

Let's imagine these Icon prisoners that do have stimuli; being cuffed to the rear with handcuffs too tight,
summer heat …

by John Wong on What life is like in solitary confinement at North Carolina's Central Prison (News Feature)

Get real Rebekah. If you are here illegally you do not have the rights associated with legality. Certainly the inability …

by adnan pitrian on What rights do undocumented immigrants have when they become crime victims? (News Feature)

Aqua America Water is getting ready to be held responsible for their actions which are beyond the pale. This company …

by Quancidine Hinson on Why Aqua NC customers are furious about their service (News Feature)

Dude is a rich white man who could afford good representation. What about the truly innocent people who can't access …

by Jane Doh on After Fifteen Years, the Michael Peterson Case Concludes But Provides Little Closure (News Feature)

someone just asked me what i thought about this article again. i said that this article posits Bell as possibly …

by kenyattassata on Mayor Bill Bell Has Overseen a Bull City Renaissance. So Why Has Durham’s Poverty Rate Gone Up on His Watch? (News Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation