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Grace Paley: Collected Shorts brings to life the momentous times in which this author and activist lived and worked as she reads from her short stories, poems and essays. She often referred to herself as a “combative pacifist”. This small, feisty woman spoke with the rough-around-the-edges accent of the Bronx neighborhood where she grew up.
She was the child of Jewish immigrants who fled oppression in Russia. They instilled in Grace a lifelong commitment to fighting social and political injustice. She was jailed many times for protesting war and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Her work combines the personal with the political befitting a woman whose private views on world events led her to take public action. As a master of the short story, she has been compared to Checkov and her bestselling work Enormous Changes at the Last Minute brought her international fame. This documentary will trace the life of this ordinary woman with an extraordinary talent for poetry and prose through her own stories and the stories of her family, friends, colleagues and critics.
The film will depict the delicate balance of the three pillars of Grace Paley’s life…activism, writing and her circle of family and friends. It will explore the power of literature and Paley’s capacity to touch and comfort readers, as well as her ability to achieve the most human reaction to life’s challenges…laughter.
Grace Paley was true to her ideals to the last. No small feat when you consider the dreams she had for a better world for her grandchildren.
“It would be a world without militarism and racism and greed and where women don’t have to fight for their place in the world.”