( Novelist, travel writer, and essayist Helen Hunt Jackso...)
Novelist, travel writer, and essayist Helen Hunt Jackson (18301885) was one of the most successful authors and most passionate intellects of her day. Ralph Waldo Emerson also regarded her as one of America’s greatest poets. Today Jackson is best remembered for Ramona, a romantic novel set in the rural Southern Californian Indian and Californio communities of her day. Ramona, continuously in print for over a century, has become a cultural icon, but Jackson’s prolific career left us with much more, notably her achievements as a prose writer and her work as an early activist on behalf of Native Americans. This long-overdue biography of Jackson’s remarkable life and times reintroduces a distinguished figure in American letters and restores Helen Hunt Jackson to her rightful place in history. Discussing much new material, Kate Phillips makes extensive use of Jackson's unpublished private correspondence. She takes us from Jackson's early years in rural New England to her later pioneer days in Colorado and to her adventerous travels in Europe and Southern California. The book also gives the first in-depth discussions of Jackson's writing in every genre, her beliefs about race and religion, and the significance of her chronic illnesses. Phillips also discusses Jackson's intimate relationshipswith her two husbands, her mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the famed actress Charlotte Cushman, and the poet Emily Dickinson. Phillips concludes with a re-evaluation of Ramona, discussing the novel as the earliest example of the California dystopian tradition in its portrayal of a state on the road to self-destruction, a tradition carried further by writers like Nathanael West and Joan Didion. In this gripping biography, Phillips offers fascinating glimpses of how social context both shaped and inspired Jackson's thinking, highlighting the inextricable presence of gender, race, and class in American literary history and culture and opening a new window onto the nineteenth century.
(Meet Ruth Caster Hubble. Feisty, cantankerous, and irreve...)
Meet Ruth Caster Hubble. Feisty, cantankerous, and irreverent, she is an old woman struggling to maintain order in a harebrained modern world, and today is the last day of her life. White Rabbitfollows Ruth's progress minute by minute on this fateful day as she copes with the breakdown of her household appliances, her own vital organs, and her faith in romantic love. While Ruth meanders her way through the day's routine, heartbreaking memories surface that open windows into her past. She thinks of Hale, her beloved first husband, who died in 1944; and hopeless Henry, her steadfast husband of 36 years, whom she calls, with a mixture of affection and contempt, a "boob." As the hours tick by, Ruth starts seeing things. A furry white bunny keeps hiphopping across her field of vision, announcing "Time," and Ruth has to wonder if hers is up. Written with an understated elegance, warmth, and surprising depth,White Rabbitheralds the arrival of a writer of formidable talent.
Phillips attended Dartmouth College and became Bachelor of Arts there in 1988. She graduated from Harvard University in 1992 with Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. She obtained Doctor of Philosophy degree in History of American Civilization from Harvard five years later.
Phillips began her career at the Composition Center of Dartmouth College working there as a writing tutor during two years from 1986. She served as an Instructor of English as a Second Language at the Rassias Foundation from 1987 to 1988.
After a period of traveling and teaching in China—Phillips became an English teacher at Beijing Normal University in 1988, and held that position till the time of the tragic 1989 Tiananmen Square crack-down. In 1989 she was an assistant and interpreter for the ABC News in Beijing.
After the period of work in China, Phillips worked as an executive assistant at Irish Immigration Center, located in Boston from 1993 until 1996. During that period of time Phillips served at Harvard University as a teaching assistant until 1995. The next year she was an assistant teacher at the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference.
In addition, Phillips does lots of volunteering at her kids’ schools, ongoing, along with Literacy Tutor, Project Read, San Mateo Library.
At the beginning of her writing career, unlike many other young writers, Kate Phillips created a character decades older than herself in her highly praised debut novel, White Rabbit. White Rabbit is viewed by its Southern California-born author as part of a literary tradition composed of works by such writers as Joan Didion, Nathanael West, and John Steinbeck that, as Phillips noted, “explore the underside of the California dream.”
Phillips married Michael Ross on October 19, 1997. The couple have 2 children - Samuel Ross and Jonathan Ross.