Times They Were A-Changing – Book Review & Giveaway

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a wee bit obsessed with the 70’s…particularly with strong, creative, brave women coming-of-age during the Age of Aquarius. So, when I learned about this new anthology, I practically begged the lovely folks at WOW! to let me host a stop on the blog tour. YAY! They agreed! (Confession: I was chiefly motivated by a selfish desire to get my eyeballs on the review copy. Keep reading for my review.)

AND…I’m very excited to offer another FREE giveaway! All you have to do is comment on this post for a chance to win. I have a print copy or e-book for US mailing addresses (or an e-book for international mailing addresses).
TimesTheyWereChanging_BkCovrFirst, here’s a bit of “official” information about the book.


Just in time for the holidays, Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire launch their anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s and ’70s. The book is the perfect gift for opening discussions with friends and family members and illustrating what a powerful time the ’60s and ’70s truly were.

Forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. These women rode the sexual revolution with newfound freedom, struggled for identity in divorce courts and boardrooms, and took political action in street marches. They pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. And finally, here, they tell it like it was.

Through this collection of women’s stories, we celebrate the women of the ’60s and ’70s and the importance of their legacy.

Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press (Sept. 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1938314042
ISBN-13: 978-1938314049

Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s & ‘70s is available in print and as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, She Writes Press and Indie Bound.

Find out more about the book online:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TimesTheyWereAChanging

Times They Were A-Changing blog: http://www.timestheywereachanging.com

Twitter: @womensmemoir60s

My Review:

To be honest, I don’t read many anthologies…or non-fiction…or politics…or memoir. I’m a novelist who devours novels. So this was a very unusual literary selection for me. That said, I absolutely LOVED this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it. Times They Were A-Changing is not just a collection of memories and nostalgia by a bunch of women who survived the 60’s and 70’s, it’s an honest exploration of a weird, wondrous, bewildering and, at times, violent chapter of the 20th century. I believe this book would be a brilliant gift for any woman, but especially for younger women who are curious about the two decades that changed, well, just about EVERYTHING about coming-of-age as a female in this country.

While the editors have put together a solid, well-written collection of poetry and prose with no weak links, there were a few selections that really stood out for me:

  • The Magician (Laura Singh) cast a spell that sent shivers over every inch of my skin. Maybe it’s the fact that I was once a single girl in San Francisco, but I dreamed about this surreal encounter after reading the story.
  • While reading The September Wind (Sara Etgen-Baker) I had to jump up off the couch, pump my fist and yell about the awful betrayal of a mother unwilling to invest more than $20 in her daughter’s college education (Micheal promptly asked me to stop reading for a while)
  • I actually cried real tears when the narrator of The Day I Met the Suffragette (Lynn Sunday) thanked the older woman for giving her the right to vote.
  • Fast Forwarding Evolution (Linda J. Nordquist) sent me on a research binge to learn more about Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique.
  • As a fan of Dr. Raymond Moody, I was intrigued by the psychedelic near-death experience depicted in Altamont (by Amber Lea Starfire).
  • Speaking of psychedelic experiences (which I’ve never had, by the way), both Tripping on High (Venus Ann Maher) and The Trip (Lucille Lang Day) use awesome, vivid, poetic descriptions of hallucinogenic drug use. Day’s piece left me feeling uplifted with a strange urge to hug her while Maher’s piece left me itching to slap her mother…a few times.
  • Generally, I prefer listening to poetry (as opposed to reading or writing it), but Collage (Ana Manwaring) had me wishing I could stand on stage and read it as my own.
  • Also, I suspect the wildly clever poem Who Wrote the Book of Love? (Dianalee Velie) could be amazing if it was read aloud by the right person.
  • My favorite quote from the whole book came from Earth’s Children (by Julie Ann Schrader):

“We don’t know where we’re headed, or how long this will take. We thrive inside the Mystery.”

This anthology manages to combine a heady mix of history, politics, education and inspiration while still being a highly entertaining read!

One disclaimer: I would classify one or two of the selections in this book as Rated R and some of the political issues depicted are still burning with controversy today. While I would NEVER advocate censorship, be sure you’ve read the book before sharing it with anyone under the age of 18.

Kate-Amber-LindaJoyjpg-1About the Editors:

Kate Farrell earned a M.A. from UC Berkeley; taught language arts in high schools, colleges, and universities; founded the Word Weaving storytelling project in collaboration with the California Department of Education with a grant from the Zellerbach Family Fund, and published numerous educational materials. She is founder of Wisdom Has a Voice memoir project and edited Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother (2011). Farrell is president of Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, a board member of Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club, member of Story Circle Network and National Association of Memoir Writers.

Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and the author of four books: Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to ForgivenessThe Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and a workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. Her book Becoming Whole—Writing Your Healing Story was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. A speaker and award-winning author, she co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and offers editing, coaching, and mentoring for memoir, nonfiction, and fiction. www.namw.org. Visit her blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.

Amber Lea Starfire, whose passion is helping others tell their stories, is the author of Week by Week: A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations (2012) and Not the Mother I Remember, due for release in late 2013. A writing teacher and editor, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco and is a member of the California Writers Club in Napa and Santa Rosa, the Story Circle Network, National Association of Memoir Writers, and International Association for Journal Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors. www.writingthroughlife.com

Reminder:  Comment on this post before midnight 12/16/13 to win your own copy of Times They Were A-Changing.


13 thoughts on “Times They Were A-Changing – Book Review & Giveaway

  1. We were so excited to have you on board for the tour, Trisha! This is such a thorough review and I love how you discuss specific pieces in the anthology that spoke to you. I have a feeling this anthology might inspire a few female fictional characters in the future for you:)

  2. Thanks Trisha, for a rousing review of the anthology! I appreciate how you connected to certain stories and poems in the book and tell us why. That will be the case for most readers: each will identify with or be drawn to specific pieces because the they are either close to their own experience or allow them to vicariously experience the era in completely different and appealing way.

    I was excited to read that you didn’t find any “weak links” in the collection–always music to an editor’s ears! The selection process was difficult: many wonderful stories and poems came our way. We wanted to provide a range of incidents (yes, a few are Rated R) and yet keep the literary quality at least consistent and entertaining. So glad you agree!

    BTW: “The Magician” was a haunting story; a coincidental meeting happened to the author right after the book was released. This acquaintance knew Maroon and had his photo, taken at that time. Laura said it was as if Maroon was looking right at her again.

    Thanks, Renee, for this stop with Trisha on the WOW! blog tour. It’s wonderful to read such a complete and enthusiastic review! And I agree that the stories can provide inspiration for fictional characters and situations.

  3. Sounds interesting and compelling to read ! Thanks for alerting me to this new book. I take it that, “Timer They Were…. ” includes the NDE near death and the Timothy Leary period of Haight Ashbury type discovery all in vogue these days as popular culture as Jennifer Anniston downs ayhuasca (In fact, Aniston herself speaks on LSD and ayahuasca in a recent interview and it’s use is featured in her 2012 movie, “Wanderlust”) ; when combined with these stories for and about women’s experiences; I’d be interested. I’ll check availabilty on Amazon for a holiday read.

    • Yes, it includes these experiences and much more. Our focus as editors was on creating as rounded a picture of the era of the ’60s and ’70s as possible. To do this meant including experiences crossing age, status, and geographic boundaries. Do stay in touch and let us know your take!

  4. Trisha, as Kate said and I have to reiterate … thank you for hosting us and for your wonderful and uplifting review of the Times anthology. In particular, I appreciate your confirmation that the stories and poetry resonate for all generations, not just those of us who lived through it.

    • To us editors, it is a true joy! How many times did we second guess our choices–among so many excellent submissions. Thank you, Trisha, for your wholehearted sense of this book and for the women who wrote it.

  5. Thank you for the review. I have my independent bookstore ordering the book for me to pick up next week. I already have the Kindle version and am reading it between my writing sessions. My fictional characters inhabit these times.

    • Hi Lee, Wonderful to hear that you’re ordering the paperback while reading the book on your Kindle! The authentic voices in this anthology will provide new context for your fictional characters, I’m sure. It’s a living history or herstory told in personal narratives that share many elements with fiction writing. Best of luck with your work!

  6. Hi Trisha, its so inspiring to read your review of the stories we loved so much. Each time I hear what someone feels and thinks about the stories, I return to the story with a new perspective and find even more in it — and believe me I’ve read them many times! It’s great too to find out what your favorites were–and that through the stories, people can learn about an era that was indeed tumultuous as well as so powerful that the the world is now was shaped by it. Thank you again for hosting us and reviewing our book!

  7. Thank you, Trisha, for identifying with the emotion and betrayal in my story, “The September Wind.” More importantly, thank you for recognizing the literary value of memoir and of the memoir genre. Perhaps we will see memoir have its own Golden Age.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s