Art and Madmen

March 17th, 2011

For women coming of age in the post war America of the late 50's and early 60's, it was a complicated piece of business. Then, if women wanted to have it all, the only road was through the work of men. If smart, creative women wanted to have a hand in the creation of art or literature, that world and the men in it, were even more complicated. To navigate this minefield was a feat of both sheer intelligence and sexual cunning, all coupled with a remarkable bout of courage.

Few did this better then award winning writer Anne Roiphe. Growing up in the 40's and 50's in a world of privilege on Park Avenue, she would become a kind of muse to many of the great writer of the mid 20th Century. Writers like Plimpton, Mailer, Styron and others, would today be her "friends" on Facebook. Her new memoir,  Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason, takes us into this often romanticized, but very real world. My conversation with Anne Roiphe: