AD: A Memoir

Kate Millett
In this candid autobiographical memoir, feminist Millett (Sexual Politics) focuses on her rich Aunt Dorothy, aesthete and society matron of St. Paul, Minnesota, whom the author idolized and betrayed. In the late 1950s, at the age of 21, Millett accepted her aunt's cash handout, which enabled her to study at Oxford, a gift that came with the stipulation that she would never again see her divorced female lover, Jaycee. Deceiving her aunt, Millett took the money and Jaycee to Oxford. There Jaycee had a clandestine affair with another woman. Aunt Dorothy (worshipfully nicknamed Anno Domina, hence the book's title) discovered Millett's deception and never forgave her. When Dorothy died years later, she bequeathed Kate just $25,000, whereas the author's sister Sally got "a fabulous sum." Writing in a free-associative style, Millett discusses the pressures to remain in the closet in the 1950s and '60s, her Irish roots and the corrosive effects of money on her divided family, as well as her artistic struggles as a writer, painter and sculptor. Her healing book is a brave exorcism of anger and self-castigation.

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