The Secret Lives of Grace Paley’s Women

Ken Faught/Toronto Star/Getty

Grace Paley may be the most underrated of New York twentieth-century writers. Born Grace Goodside in the Bronx, in 1922, she grew up in a Russian-Jewish family with strong socialist ideals. Paley studied poetry with W. H. Auden at the New School. Of Auden, she told the Paris Review that, “He seemed an immortal to me.” “I loved his poems so much,” Paley said, “that I was using this British language all the time—I was saying trousers and subaltern...

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