Writing Against the Wind: A Mother's Life History

This biography of Canadian journalist Zoe Bieler explores many of the historical and social issues that have confronted women in the twentieth century. Written by Bieler's daughter, anthropologist Caroline Brettell, Writing Against the Wind uses Bieler's life as a timeline, tracing the triumphs and frustrations women have experienced in the last eighty years. Several themes that are important to the field of women's studies are examined: genres of female writing, women's biography and autobiography, the historical circumstances that shape career opportunities for women, the nature of mother-daughter relationships, the problems of working mothers, the idea of women mentoring women, the emergence of feminism and women's issues in both academia and the popular press, and the changing roles of women in journalism. Drawing from her mother's life experiences as well as her journalistic and personal writings (an appendix featuring some of Bieler's writings is included), Brettell reveals how women have struggled with balancing a job and raising a family and, at the same time, enduring the stigma attached to women working outside the home. Thoroughly engaging, this book is ideal for courses in women's studies, women's history, biography/autobiography, women's writing, and women in journalism.