A sequel, and a corrective: In the first Daily Rituals, I featured far more men than women; in this second volume, I correct the imbalance with profiles of the day-to-day working lives of 143 women writers, artists, and performers, including:
Octavia Butler, who wrote every day no matter what. “Screw inspiration,” she said.
Isak Dinesen, who subsisted on oysters and champagne but also amphetamines, which gave her the overdrive she required.
The American sculptor Harriet Hosmer, who believed female artists should never marry and thus “waged an eternal feud with the consolidating knot.”
Martha Graham, who eschewed socializing in favor of long hours alone in her studio: “Talk is a privilege and one must deny oneself that privilege.”
Lillian Hellman, who chain-smoked three packs of cigarettes and drank twenty cups of coffee a day (after milking the cow and cleaning the barn on her Hardscrabble Farm), and who carried projects forward on successive currents of “elation, depression, hope.”
. . . and 138 others on their daily routines, superstitions, fears, eating (and drinking) habits, and other finely—and not so finely— calibrated rituals.