Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeNewsMusic NewsNew Memoir Out Now by Award-Winning Author Joan Gelfand as she Reveals...

New Memoir Out Now by Award-Winning Author Joan Gelfand as she Reveals Firsthand Accounts of 1970s Berkeley Revolution

Have you ever wanted to hear more about the 1970s Berkely Revolution? In this news about the new memoir from famed Award-Winning Author Joan Gelfand, learn more about her background, the book, and where to find it!

In November 1972, the same month Ms. Magazine made its debut, Joan Gelfand embarked on what was meant to be a brief getaway from her life in Forest Hills, New York, and seasonal retreats to the Catskills, to San Francisco. This trip marked the beginning of a lifelong journey and a significant chapter in history.

In her book, Outside Voices: A Memoir of the Berkeley Revolution (Post Hill Press; ISBN: 979-8888450048; Hardcover), the award-winning author and respected figure in the literary community, Joan Gelfand, narrates her transformative experiences during a pivotal era in Berkeley. With a blend of candidness and poetic elegance, Gelfand details her personal growth — creatively, sexually, and spiritually — amidst the backdrop of a society undergoing profound changes, heralding the emergence of the Beat Generation.

Securing a sanctuary in a serene, wood-shingled home in Berkeley, Gelfand found her community among fellow feminists and creatives. She reflects on the era’s dynamic, stating, “Women were carving out spaces to amplify their voices through art, literature, music, and even manual labor, challenging the traditionally male-dominated landscape.”

Through her friendships with Cloud, a poet and artist known for her sparkling laughter, and Nancy, a professional musician, Outside Voices provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of burgeoning artists and intellectuals, including Suze Orman, a then-waitress; filmmaker Barbara Hammer; writers Judy Grahan, Gloria Andaluza, and Pat Parker; as well as musicians Mary Watkins and Linda Tillery, among others. In the wake of the Free Speech Movement, the Summer of Love, and the Beat’s cultural upheaval, Berkeley served as a vibrant incubator for artistic and social exploration.

The narrative unfolds Gelfand’s evolution into a community organizer and poetry editor, paralleling her aspirations to become a published writer. However, the journey hits a crossroads when her collective insists on a “No men allowed” policy, mirroring the broader fissures within the women’s movement towards separatism as a strategy for further emancipation.

For Gelfand, this marked the conclusion of her “Berkeley Revolution” as she outgrew the restrictive dichotomies of her early community. In the memoir’s reflection, she contemplates the multitude of ways to foster change, musing, “Perhaps there are diverse paths to personal and societal transformation, beyond the binaries of gender conflicts. With perseverance, I believed I could find the words to inspire change, just as I have been inspired by the power of literature and dialogue.”

Outside Voices: A Memoir of the Berkeley Revolution is available from

About Joan Gelfand

JOAN GELFAND is the author of three volumes of poetry, an award-winning chapbook of short fiction, and a novel, Extreme, which was a finalist in the International Book Awards. Her poem about Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the basis for a film, The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics, which was featured in over 20 international film festivals. Her writing has appeared in more than 150 literary magazines and journals, including Huffington Post, LA Review of Books, Levure Litteraire, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and the San Francisco Chronicle, which published her tribute to Ferlinghetti upon his death. A beloved teacher and mentor, Gelfand is president emeritus of the Women’s National Book Association and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her guide, You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C’s Approach to Author Success, is an Amazon #1 bestseller. She holds a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Adam Hertz.

GGM Staff


Most Popular