RIP: Joanna Russ

I can’t add too much to the fine encomium that Todd wrote; I’ll just say that bringing The Female Man to a bunch of students at UHD, while definitely a challenge, offered a real eye-opening (and mind-expanding) experience to them as well. I’ve been talking about Russ a lot lately with folks in the romance field, but it seems she doesn’t have the same cachet with the spec fic audience that other elder statesmen have. Just too hard to pigeon-hole. For that I have always admired her: a true iconoclast. If you haven’t read her, do. I highly recommend How to Suppress Women’s Writing as well. As I have spent my afternoon with some particularly awful academic writing, I appreciate once again Russ’s clear-sighted ability to convey complex ideas with verve and style. She refused to be anything but herself in every way: a very out lesbian and an unapologetic feminist. Raise a glass to her name: more importantly, take her books off the shelf, read them and talk about them.

Update: The Locus obit (thanks, Todd).