The Greatness of Grace Paley

Justin Taylor at Lit Hub:

Paley was an artist of the highest order, but she was also an activist, a pacifist, a mother, and a citizen. She saw her several callings as connected, and ideally as indistinct from each other, but when circumstance forced her to choose between protesting the war and making art, or standing up for free speech and making art, or building community and making art, she tended to back-burner the art-making. This may be one reason why her output was relatively slender and why it has been relatively undervalued. I don’t mean to suggest she’s neglected, exactly, only taken for granted at times. Well, whose mother hasn’t been?

While making my way through the Collected I realized that Paley’s debut, The Little Disturbances of Man, turns 60 years old this year. The diamond jubilee! I can hear her laughing. Which reminds me: 1959, the year of Little Disturbances, was also the year that Roth debuted with Goodbye, Columbus and Updike published his first novel, The Poorhouse Fair.

more here.