If you’re a millennial, you may not realize just how bad American society was for women before, say, the 1970s and 1980s. Women struggled long and hard to win the vote and didn’t win that struggle until 1920—fully 144 years after this great country was founded. For many of those years, women could not sign contracts or take legal action without the permission of their husbands or fathers, were routinely denied gainful employment and access to higher education and the professions, and were generally denigrated and disrespected in society except in their role as submissive wives and mothers.
This was especially true in the arts and literature. A woman like Edith Wharton—whose writing I revere—succeeded, but she was a very wealthy and socially prominent woman who was willing and able to fight. The same is true of Gertrude Atherton.
In the arts, women were denied publicity, access to top galleries, and critical review that male artists took for granted. That’s why many of us are unfamiliar with the great women artists of history. The 1940s was a period when numerous women artists emerged, especially in the Surrealist movement.
And that’s what The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria is about.
The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies are sweeping across Europe.
Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee.
Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their extraordinary, visionary Art.
But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey of the soul deep into her own troubled psyche.
I was inspired by the lives and the friendship of the brilliant Surrealist artists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, who are my favorite Surrealists and, in my opinion, were much more talented and visionary than the famous male artists of that period.
A summary of the artists’ lives and a list of Sources follows the novella.
So there you have it, my friends. The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria was published in Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which included stories by Michael Bishop, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and Neal Stephenson. This is a short story, mind you, not a full-blown book.
From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.
Whew! Did I forget anything? I don’t think so, but I didn’t include every title in this list, either. For that—
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