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From Margaret Atwood to Daisy Zamora, Simone de Beauvoir to Virginia Woolf, many of the world’s greatest women writers have reflected upon one of humanity’s most tragic and powerful experiences: war. Yet most of these writings are little known, just as women’s perceptions of war remain largely absent from the history books.
Women on War gathers together writings by more than 150 women, including renowned poets, novelists, essayists, journalists, and activists, as well as ordinary women with first-hand experience of armed conflict as survivors, refugees, rape victims, nurses, and soldiers. Spanning the globe and traversing more than two centuries, the pieces in this compelling collection range from an ancient verse by Sappho to testimony by Afghan women and poems about the impact of September 11, 2001. In voices that are gripping, mournful, defiant, and often surprisingly hopeful, these writers join to produce a portrait of wartime experience that has too seldom been seen, and a plea for peace that has too seldom been heard.
The first edition of Women on War, published in 1988, was hailed as a landmark book and won wide critical acclaim. The New York Times called the anthology "an eloquent response to global violence [which] sweeps with authority through time and across national boundaries. . . . This is one book one hopes will be translated into all of humankind’s languages." This long-awaited new edition, which contains nearly 40 percent new material and includes responses to the conflicts of our own times, is sure to earn a place as a landmark work for the 21st century.