Friday, December 21, 2012

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. Rebecca West

The author of The Return of the Soldier was born on this day in 1892.

Cicely Isabel Fairfield (21 December 1892 – 15 March 1983), known by her pen name Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca WestDBE was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. She reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and the New Republic, and she was a correspondent for The Bookman[disambiguation needed]. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of YugoslaviaA Train of Powder(1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, published originally in The New YorkerThe Meaning of Treason, laterThe New Meaning of Treason, a study of World War II and Communist traitors; The Return of the Soldier, a modernistWorld War I novel; and the "Aubrey trilogy" of autobiographical novels, The Fountain OverflowsThis Real Night, andCousin RosamundTime called her "indisputably the world's number one woman writer" in 1947. She was made CBEin 1949, and DBE in 1959, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to British letters.

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