Life and Art at the Woman's Building
"The Woman’s Building became a North Star on a dream map for women who were looking to redefine their lives and work. And its history—rich, splintered, groundbreaking—is the subject of a new book."
Los Angeles Times
"As her memoir illustrates, being a woman artist in the mid-1970s was profoundly revolutionary."
"Her documentation of the ideals, debates, and out-and-out battles waged during this important time in the feminist movement will give young women both a surprising and relatable snapshot of the era. . . . An inspirational read."
"Poet and novelist Wolverton describes her life and work at... the Woman's Building, a center for feminist art and culture in Los Angeles... provides an intimate look at the organizational struggles and triumphs. Recommended for public and academic libraries with extensive women's studies or art history collections, particularly on the West Coast."
"The spirit of the legendary Woman’s Building lives on in this unflinchingly brave and tender memoir. Terry Wolverton’s Insurgent Muse is witty, heart-rending, superbly honest and deeply moving, providing an acute social analysis of a young life and a memorable era of feminism that fueled so much art and so many epiphanies. The great work of the Woman’s Building deserves this book."
Lucy Lippard, author of The Pink Glass Swan: Selected Feminist Essays on Art
"In a memoir, I expect a personal journey and hope for more. Terry Wolverton’s Insurgent Muse delights me with an individual, collective, institutional, and historical text. My friend and colleague for over two decades, Wolverton can always be counted on to write with integrity, commitment, and charm."
Arlene Raven, award-winning art historian and co-founder of the Woman’s Building
"Terry Wolverton’s amazing Insurgent Muse is a smart, funny, sexy, and deeply honest tribute to the extraordinary community of women artists whose creativity and fierce living rocked the world from an old building in downtown L.A. Part engaging memoir and part trenchant social history, Wolverton tells a story that is remarkably moving and inspiring. Insurgent Muse is a triumph."
Tim Miller, solo performer and author of Shirts and Skins and Body Blows
"The Woman’s Building was magical, like the Hollywood sign and the Santa Monica pier. It was physical proof that the future was indeed here, now, and we were it. Insurgent Muse is a singular rite of passage that is simultaneously a collective coming of age. Wolverton is a passionate and accomplished writer."
Kate Braverman, author of Lithium for Medea
"Wolverton’s memoir chronicles her ‘coming of age’ as a lesbian feminist writer and performance artist at the historic L.A. Woman’s Building. It’s a story of utopian ideals, passionate politics and the struggle to survive the changing political landscapes of America."
Harmony Hammond, artist and author of Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History
"Is any individual life a representative life? Terry Wolverton’s seems to be in so many ways. Her searingly honest memoir tells what it was like to be a woman, an artist, a lesbian during those heady, storm and stress decades of the 1970s and ’80s. It’s all here — the multi-lover dyko dramas, the intersection of personal and political, the Coming Out and Recovery and remembering sexual abuse movements, the rise and fall of a women’s cultural center, the Woman’s Building in L.A. Wolverton has a poet’s sense of the complexities of the interior life and an eye witness’s intimacy with that era. Anyone wanting to know what it was like to be a woman, an artist, a lesbian at the end of the last American century will find this book indispensable."
Rebecca Brown, author of The Terrible Girls and The Dogs