An Enthusiastic Compendium of Female Intellectuals

Kristen Roupenian at the TLS:

It feels as if the women on Dean’s list do have something important in common, but the precise nature of that something is surprisingly hard to pin down. They could not all be described, for one thing, as feminists: Sontag “roared” at Adrienne Rich about the “simple-mindedness” of feminism, having previously defended it, and Ephron felt “uneasy” about organized feminist efforts at the Democratic convention in 1972. Likewise, only some of these writers – Sontag and Arendt – were capital-I Intellectuals. Kael was a movie critic. McCarthy and Hurston were best known for their fiction. Adler is most famous for her reportage. The famously witty Nora Ephron, meanwhile, in addition to writing the screenplay for When Harry Met Sally and the gut-busting novel Heartburn, once wrote one hell of a parody of Ayn Rand:

Twenty-five years ago, Howard Roark laughed. Standing naked at the edge of a cliff, his face painted, his hair the colour of a bright orange rind, his body a composition of straight, clean lines and angles, each curve breaking into smooth, clean planes, Howard Roark laughed.

more here.