Sharp by Michelle Dean


Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm—these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp. Their lives intertwine as they cut through the cultural and intellectual history of America in the twentieth century, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the sexist attitudes of the men who often undervalued their work as critic...

Details Sharp

Release DateApr 10th, 2018
PublisherGrove Press
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, History, Biography, Womens

Reviews Sharp

  • Tess
    Gobbled this book up in a few sittings. Loved reading more about women I already admired, and learning a lot about a few I didn't know much about. A beautifully written and well researched book.
  • Marissa
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.A recent trend in nonfiction revolves around anthologies of great women. Across ages and genres, notable women of the past are being highlighted in collections of their lives and works. When I saw the cover for SHARP, I knew immediately I wanted to read about its female writers and intellectuals, some familiar and others less familiar to me. I really...
  • Kate Klassa
    Sharp is an exceptionally well written exploration of some of the most influential women writers of the last century. Almost every chapter explores a different woman's writing, giving details of their childhood and adolescent years as well as the intimate details of their writing careers. Dean differentiates this book from other collections of short biographies through two methods:(1) She considers the writers' impacts on each other, rather than ...
  • Victoria Sadler
    Loved this. Sharp by Michelle Dean gives insights into the lives and work of some of the 20th century’s most influential women writers. Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion Nora Ephron Renata Adler & Janet Malcolm...It doesn’t deify these women at all. Michelle really examines their politics and outlook, but also considers the context of their work.
  • Claudia Tessier
    An interesting exploration of 10 "sharp" women of the 20th century, all writers and feminist influencers in one way or another. The author does an excellent job of not only discussing each woman but also demonstrating links among them. Of value in relation to understanding each woman and the world in which she confronted herself, her admirers, her critics, her obstacles, and how each used her literary style to influence society and survive.
  • Mara
    This wasn't precisely what I had expected, but seeing as this turns out to be an intellectual history of notable 20th century female public thinkers, I was quite happy with what I got. Michelle Dean has a real talent for picking choice quotes and events from her subjects, and I was delighted that she takes us through how these brilliant women were socially and professionally collected. This book made me want to drop everything and pick up all the...
  • Annarella
    A really interesting books about really interesting women. Strongly recommended.Many thanks to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic
  • Emi Bevacqua
    I love the way Michelle Dean structured and titled this brilliantly researched collection of female writers, beyond mere bios to highlight contradictions and parallels, intrasections and stances on issues as far-reaching as politics, feminism, and culture. These women may have been described as tough, elegant, glamorous, beautiful... and not always in a complimentary sense; Dean humanizes them, to a degree that is at times poignant. I learned so ...
  • Kathleen Collins
    Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (Grove Press, 2018) is not a collection of truncated biographies of celebrated writers Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Lillian Hellman, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm. It’s a skillful and compulsively readable narrative of these women in relief, set against the often bumpy ...
  • Alexia Polasky
    Thank you Netgalley and Grove Atlantic for the ARC and the opportunity to review this book!The premise of this book sounded interesting, especially in the era of female empowerment we are living right now. I found the selection of women to talk about perfect. However, the writing style and it felt like reading a textbook for school on a subject that interests me and bores me at the same time, because of the pacing.Full review on my blog.
  • Kristina Reads - Books. Blogs. Memes.
    Honestly, this just felt like reading a textbook.
  • Sarah Perchikoff
    Before reading Sharp by Michelle Dean, I wasn't under the impression that the women in this book were going to become some kind of role models for me, but I guess I expected them to be a little more together, maybe a little less petty. Now, don't get me wrong, I love some petty. Especially nowadays, petty can get you through the day, but I guess I was expecting more elegance from these women who were such trailblazers in their day. They chea...