Discipline: Literature

Barbara Harrison

Discipline: Literature
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell fellowships: 1975, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987
Barbara Harrison (1934-2002) was an American journalist, essayist, and memoirist. She is best known for her autobiographical work, particularly her account of growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, and for her travel writing. By then Harrison had become involved with the women's movement, and she began writing on feminist themes for various publications. Her first book, Unlearning the Lie: Sexism in School, was published in 1969. Harrison was one of the first contributors to Ms. Magazine. Although Harrison expressed admiration for individual Witnesses and wrote sympathetically of their persecution, she portrayed the faith itself as harsh and tyrannical, racist and sexist. Harrison wrote for many of the leading periodicals of her time, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, The Village Voice, The Nation, Ladies' Home Journal, and Mother Jones magazine. Among the people she interviewed were Red Barber, Mario Cuomo, Jane Fonda, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Francis Ford Coppola, Nadia Com─âneci, Alessandra Mussolini, and Barbara Bush. Because of her background, Harrison was often asked to write about movements that were perceived to be cults; she described families affected by the Unification Church and the Northeast Kingdom Community Church, and reported on the U.S. government's deadly standoff with the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.



Barbara Harrison worked in the Mansfield studio.

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