Iconic Feminist Journalist and Activist Michele Landsberg Reflects on the Past Thirty Years of the Women's Movement in her New Book Writing the Revolution

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Michele Landsberg wrote over 3000 columns on women's issues while at the Toronto Star. In her new book, Writing the Revolution, she reflects on what she got right, what she got wrong, and what was happening behind the scenes.

Writing the Revolution by Michele Landsberg book cover

Writing the Revolution by Michele Landsberg

Gloria Steinem on Michele’s activism: "Those who make a revolution and those who write about it are usually two different people. Michele Landsberg is one of the few on earth who is trusted and effective at both."

Since feminist journalist Michele Landsberg’s first column was published in 1978, no topic has been out of bounds. Michele wrote over 3000 columns while at the Toronto Star and in her new book, Writing the Revolution, she reflects on what she got right, what she got wrong, and what was happening behind the scenes. Though Michele was hesitant about being labeled the Star’s first “woman columnist”, the unprecedented response she received convinced her that she had found a place as a needed voice for women. Gloria Steinem has said of Michele’s activism: "Those who make a revolution and those who write about it are usually two different people. Michele Landsberg is one of the few on earth who is trusted and effective at both. There is no one I respect more in the trenches---or on the page."

Michele Landsberg was the first feminist writer to have a regular voice in a Canadian daily newspaper. In Writing the Revolution she weaves together key columns from 1978 to 2003, with reflections, anecdotes and analysis of the heady days of Second Wave feminism and beyond. Her journalism tackled not only her personal experiences – from becoming a mother to surviving breast cancer – but also fearlessly advocated for causes like the right to abortion, better childcare programs, same-sex marriage and ending the war in Iraq.

Michele also turns her gaze to the new face of feminism. She celebrates the rise of contemporary events like SlutWalk, the Toronto-born protest rally against the myth that women invite rape and sexual assault, which has been taken up internationally. Surprising, enlightening, infuriating or funny, her writing reminds us how far women’s rights have come over the past forty years – and how far they still have to go. Michele stands as an icon of feminist activism and continues to inspire a new generation of young feminists.

Writing the Revolution will be launched on October 18th in Toronto with an event with This Is Not a Reading Series. The evening will feature introductions by Naomi Klein, Angela Robertson, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Leah Henderson and an interview with Avi Lewis. Landsberg will discuss the last thirty-five years of the women's movement, assess where we are today, and where the passionate new generation of feminists are headed.

Writing the Revolution is a project with the Feminist History Society/Société d’histoire féministe.

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Emma Rodgers
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