Just As I Thought

by Grace Paley

Hardcover, 1998

Call number




Farrar Straus & Giroux (T) (1998), Edition: 1st, 332 pages


Just As I Thought is as close to an autobiography as anything we are likely to have from this quintessentially American writer. In it we get a chance to see Grace Paley not only as a writer and "troublemaker" but also as a daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother. Through her descriptions of her childhood in the Bronx and her experiences as an antiwar activist to her lectures on writing and her recollections of other writers, these pieces are always alive with Paley's inimitable voice, humor, and wisdom.

User reviews

LibraryThing member RandyMetcalfe
As much as Grace Paley was a defining voice in the American short story in the second half of the 20th century, she was perhaps even more well-known at the time as an advocate for social justice, a peace activist, a feminist, an anti-nuclear protester, a defender of those downtrodden by patriarchal
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forces in American business and politics, and a really nice grandmother. Whether it was joining with other women to safeguard music in a local park, or participating in a sit-in in order to block the development of two nuclear power stations, or travelling to North Vietnam in 1968 and returning with three captured American pilots, Grace Paley was there. It’s astonishing to discover just how often she was present at events, giving a voice to issues through her pen, fighting the good fight. Raised in a Jewish socialist household in New York City, she survived the Great Depression, World War II, the birth of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam war, and was still there on the scene raising her honest voice of protest during the first Gulf War. Yet the collection of articles, forewords, introductions, speeches, recollections, and poems collected here will simply reaffirm for the reader her absolute commitment to truth in writing. Her ever-distinctive voice entices with humour and good grace. You can’t help but wish you had known her yourself. And maybe, through her short stories, poetry, and these pieces, you really have.

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LibraryThing member suesbooks
very diverse compilation of paley's (mostly) speeches and writings. much important and profound content, but often presented in a scattered format. paley's beliefs were so strong, and overall, she was a very giving woman. in some ways, she was a real product of the 20th centrury, but she also
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forced herself to grow. a true pacifist willing to be imprisoned for her beliefs and even viewing prison as an opportunity. she lived part of her life very near stuytown and that added interest and empathy.
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