The Pleasure Of... Release
A book sees the day!
Did I mention I wrote a book? In case you hadn’t heard, Hotbed: Bohemian Greenwich Village and the Secret Club that Sparked Modern Feminism is out in the world—and a bookstore near you—today, June 7.
I’ll be back to regularly(ish)-scheduled musings and recommendations next week, but for now I hope you’ll forgive my yelling from the virtual rooftops about reviews, release parties, and all good things!
All books take a long time and a huge effort from many, many people to move from idea to reality, but this one—written and edited through pregnancy, a pandemic, and early parenthood—took more than most. I could not be prouder or more grateful that it is here, and I would be honored if you would take a look, share with your friends, book clubs, and random strangers, and if you’re so inclined, leave me a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you spend time online.
TONIGHT, I’ll be launching the book in a virtual conversation with historian Sarah Gordon. We'll be streaming live from the Astoria Bookshop at 7pm ET, and you can tune into the Crowdcast event here, from anywhere. We're planning a little post-event party at a nearby bar, so message me for details if you'd like to join!
NEXT TUESDAY, June 14, we’ll be launching the book in person at 7pm at McNally Jackson Seaport (4 Fulton Street). I'll be in conversation with the brilliant Alexis Coe, followed by wine and celebration. If you are in or near New York, I would absolutely love to see you. More details and reservations are here.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Deep in the heart of New York City, nearly a decade before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, a revolution began. Some of the most outspoken and ambitious female figures of their time—from artists and journalists to lawyers, social workers, and scientists—gathered in Greenwich Village for the first meeting of “Heterodoxy,” a collective of visionary women whose imaginations created not only a community, but a movement for gender equality. The friendships between Heterodoxy’s members were vital in pursuit of their individual agendas, despite wide differences in their ages, backgrounds, and careers.
The club included the famous feminist writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman and notorious left-wing agitators Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Rose Pastor Stokes, renowned playwright Susan Glaspell and public-health pioneer Sara Josephine Baker, among an array of suffragists, socialites, and socialists. At the height of racial segregation even among progressives, Heterodoxy welcomed the Harlem hostess and civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson and members supported the anti-lynching work of the NAACP, as well as taking the lead in labor, voting rights, marriage, and peace activism. The women of Heterodoxy looked to each other for inspiration, motivation, and support, as rivals, friends, and lovers. The club formed the bedrock of their political and creative work, as they pushed to reimagine women's place and role in the world.
PRAISE FOR HOTBED
"A vibrant tale of the radical political and social activism swirling through New York City's Greenwich Village in the early 20th century.... Scutts's comprehensive account skillfully situates Heterodoxy's members at the forefront of the era's most important movements for change and renders lively portraits of suffrage parades, labor strikes, and birth control advocacy. This feminist history shines.” —Publishers Weekly
“An enlightening contribution to the history of feminism.” —Kirkus
“In Joanna Scutts’s capable hands, the individual lives of the members of the Heterodoxy Club become a prism through which to examine the defining issues of New York City in the early 1900s, from suffrage to workers’ rights, from racism to sexism. Incredibly resonant in today’s times, and a profound read.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times–bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue