Meet Cindy Nemser - art critic, theatre critic, novelist, humorist, journalist, and ardent feminist.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

6:07 PM Posted by Cindy Nemser No comments
Letter to the New York Times re:N.F.L and Jane Austen November 29, 2014 To the editor I was delighted to read Maureen Dowd’s “Pigskin Pride and Prejudice,” (column, Nov. 25): in which she used comparisons to Jane Austen’s heroines Emma and Elizabeth Bennet to highlight the character defects of the immature superstars of the male-dominated hierarchical world of professional football. I did my MA thesis on Jane Austen in 1958, when she was assigned reading for English majors taking courses in eighteenth century literature. I chose to write about Austen because I identified with the romantic and social problems of her many faceted heroines, and I adored both her universal wisdom and sparkling wit. She was an inspiration for my own writings: both fictional and autobiographical. After I published my first novel, in the late 80’s, I went to see a well known agent with a proposal to write a book about the tempestuous romance of two teenagers growing up in the 50’s in the insular middle class Jewish, neighborhood of Midwood in Brooklyn. Her response was unenthusiastic. She said: Books aimed at teenagers have to be contemporary stories taking place in far flung exotic settings. My book is primarily written for adults. Adults aren’t interested in reading about the doings of teenagers thirty years ago. What about the works of Jane Austen? She wrote about teenagers hundreds of years ago. The agent shrugged. “Oh, nobody reads her.”


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