Dear Princess Grace, Dear Betty (Hardcover)
The Memoir of a Romantic Feminist
Schaffner Press, 9781936182848, 264pp.
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Nautilus Book Awards, Silver, Category: Women
A candid and insightful memoir by the feminist writer and social critic Alida Brill, Dear Princess Grace, Dear Betty spans her life from the onset of the modern women's movement in the early 1960s through the second wave in the '70s and '80s and on to the present day, in which she became a leading figure and spokesperson. Her story begins in the postwar early suburban community of Lakewood, California, when, as a young girl, she wrote a letter to her idol, Princess Grace of Monaco; to her astonishment, she received a reply. Following this cornerstone event of her young years came the arrival of Barbie, in 1959, who represented an entirely different kind of woman in her stylish looks and zebra-striped swimsuit. Then, in 1963, the publication of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan caused a seismic shift in the Brill household, propelling her mother into a life of feminism, and inspiring Alida to become a writer and steering her own life to a career's a social critic and feminist advocate. Later on, she became the close personal friend and confidante of Betty Friedan, and the two of them shared a bond not only due to their personal beliefs but also because both suffered from chronic illness: Friedan with chronic asthma and Brill with a rare auto-immune disease. This book presents Brill's inspirational message and quiet wisdom obtained from her four decades at the heart of the women's movement, while at the same time engaged in the dilemma of wanting to lead a romantic life.