Sunday, August 4, 2013

Author Talks: Margaret Cruikshank

Margaret (Peg) Cruikshank
We took a moment to catch up with Margaret Cruikshank about her writing and what has influenced it.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Cruikshank: In college, in the early 1960s. I was first published in 1973, a book review in the Minneapolis Tribune.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Cruikshank: Feminist and lesbian themes primarily and since 2000, themes of ageism and empowerment of elders, especially of women.

JWB: What one event shaped your writing?
Cruikshank: Coming out as a lesbian in the mid-70s and moving to San Francisco.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Cruikshank: Middlemarch by George Elliot, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Cruikshank: Publishing is in a state of upheaval. The future is hard to predict. Aim higher than vanity publishing on Amazon.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Cruikshank: I’m writing lectures on American literature by black women and American Indian women for an American studies program in Austria where I will be team teaching. I am co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies on old lesbians.

Author Bio
Margaret (Peg) Cruikshank has written about women’s issues since 1975. She taught English, gay/lesbian studies, and women’s studies for many years at City College of San Francisco. She retired from the University of Maine in 2011 and continues as a faculty associate of the Center on Aging. Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture and Aging, is now in its third edition. Cruikshank also edited an anthology of literature about aging, Fierce with Reality (2007). She has been awarded two senior Fulbright grants.

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