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Allison Wright

Allison Wright is the executive editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review. She is the immediate past president of the nonprofit literary organization WriterHouse and former editor of Tiny Hardcore Press. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, VQR, Popular Mechanics, the Texas Observer, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Overseas Press Club. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, and teaches journalism at the University of Virginia.


<i>Double Bind: Women on Ambition</i>. Ed. by Robin Romm. Liveright, 2017. HB, 336p. $27.95.

Bound to Succeed

Spring 2017 | Criticism

I once asked my mother, a well-educated, exceedingly competent woman, why she served as someone’s assistant for the majority of her professional life, yet always took a leadership role in volunteer organizations (president of the PTA and director of nearly every church committee on which she’s ever served, for example). Her response was unequivocal: “Your grandmother always told me that I would never be anything other than a secretary.” Mothers—“They fuck you up,” Philip Larkin wrote. “They may not mean to, but they do.”

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. By Kate Bolick. Broadway, 2016. 352p. PB, $16.

Table for One

Spring 2016 | Criticism

Journalists are synthesizing for a popular audience what historians have long known: Free women make their way in the world, availing themselves of new technologies and economic opportunities as they go. Girls—they’re just like us!