Sharp - The Women Who Made An Art Of Having An Opinion

Episodes

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01Dorothy Parker20180423

Profile of one of the most brilliant wits of 1920s New York.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

As part of the Algonquin Round Table, Dorothy Parker established her reputation as one of the most brilliant wits in New York and came to epitomize the liberated woman of the 1920s.

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

02Mary Mccarthy20180424

Profile of novelist and critic Mary McCarthy, noted for her bitingly satiric commentaries.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

Mary McCarthy

As both a novelist and a critic McCarthy was noted for bitingly satiric commentaries on marriage, sexual expression and the role of women in contemporary urban America.

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

03Susan Sontag20180425

A profile of the inquisitive, analytical and outspoken essayist Susan Sontag.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

Susan Sontag was a brilliant essayist - inquisitive, analytical, fearlessly outspoken. Her work is characterised by a serious philosophical approach to modern culture including the ground-breaking "Notes on Camp" and the personal and liberating "Illness as Metaphor."

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

04Pauline Kael20180426

Profile of Pauline Kael, one of the most influential American film critics of her day.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

The immensely influential critic of the New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991, Pauline Kael's biting, highly opinionated and sharply focused reviews espoused opinions often contrary to those of her contemporaries. She was one of the most influential American film critics of her day.

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

05Nora Ephron20180427

brought her sharp New York wit to all her work.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

Nora Ephron was a journalist, blogger, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director. She brought her sharp New York wit to all her work and in particular to the romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally.

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.

05Nora Ephron20180427

Nora Ephron brought her sharp New York wit to all her work.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres

by Michelle Dean

Nora Ephron was a journalist, blogger, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and film director. She brought her sharp New York wit to all her work and in particular to the romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally.

Dean's book builds a picture of the social and political progress of women through the twentieth century from Dorothy Parker to Nora Ephron.

Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron -these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. They are united by their 'sharpness', the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit. The world would not have been the same without Dorothy Parker's acid reflections on the absurdities of her life. Or Mary McCarthy's fiction which is noted for its acerbity in analysing the finer nuances of intellectual dilemmas. Or Susan Sontag's ideas about interpretation, or Pauline Kael's energetic swipes at filmmakers. Or Nora Ephron's biting wit and strong female characters. Together they define the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth century America.

Michelle Dean is a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle's 2016 Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. A contributing editor at the New Republic, she has written for the New Yorker, Nation, New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine, and Elle.

abridged by Sara Davies
read by Alexandra Mathie
produced by Gaynor Macfarlane.