Advice from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
I had the pleasure of meeting Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Exponent II co-founder Laurel Thatcher Ulrich last night. She is promoting her new book, A House Full of Females. She spoke to a full house and the books she had on hand sold out before I could get one!
I asked Laurel if she had any advice for younger Mormon feminists and this is what she said:
“People often ask me how I managed to raise five children and develop an academic career. I sometimes say ‘a little at a time.’ I married when I was twenty so by the time I completed my PhD my oldest son was in college. I really did live in another century—the twentieth century! People’s lives today are very different. One of my daughters had her first baby at 39. She launched her career before she had children, though she didn’t necessarily plan it that way. My only advice is to enjoy whatever stage of life you are in right now.”
Her new book looks like a fascinating read, especially for Mormon feminists. Just read the listing:
A stunning and sure-to-be controversial book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, the never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon “plural marriage,” whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women who’ve previously been seen as mere names and dates, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their “sex radicalism”–the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children.