AKA Anne Roth
Birthplace: New York City
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Up the Sandbox!
Anne Roiphe is an American feminist author known for such novels as Up the Sandbox and Lovingkindness. Her work is noteworthy for its examination of the conflict between the desire for family and relationships and that for career and self-determination. In addition to her several books she has authored numerous articles and she contributes a bi-weekly column for the New York Observer.
Born in New York City, Roiphe grew up in an affluent and severely dysfunctional Jewish family. Her father was an alcoholic and womanizer and her mother was an abused wife who had difficulty coping with daily life. Consequently much of Roiphe's upbringing was left to her nanny, who was dismissed after she was deemed no longer necessary.
She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1957, and although she dreamed of becoming a writer, she followed the cultural norm at the time of marriage and children. Her husband at the time, Jack Richardson, was a writer and increasingly an alcoholic as well. By 1963 the parallels between their marriage and the horrors of her parents' relationship, as detailed in her memoir 1185 Park Avenue were so compelling that she divorced. She remarried in 1967 to Herman Roiphe with whom she had more children, and became stepmother to his children by a previous marriage. Her daughter, Katie Roiphe is the author of the book The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism (1994).
Roiphe's principal contribution to feminist thought is her furthering of arguments introduced earlier by Betty Friedan regarding a woman's right to enjoy motherhood. In her non-fiction book Fruitful: A Real Mother in the Modern World, Roiphe points out that although daycare may seem to be the answer to balancing work and career, it robs women of many of the joys and satisfactions of spending time with their children.
Roiphe further argues that the solution is not to relegate women to weekend/evening parenting, just as men have been traditionally, but rather to create a system in which both men and women can share in a full family life. She further advocates rethinking our current career track pacing such that a person's late 20s and early 30s might be more given over to family concerns (and joys), with the realization that life spans, and thus productive work years, for both genders have been greatly extended.
Husband: Jack Richardson (m. 1958, div. 1963)
Husband: Herman Roiphe (m. 1967, three children)
University: Sarah Lawrence College (1957)
The New York Observer Columnist
Author of books:
Digging Out (1967, novel)
Up the Sandbox! (1970, novel)
Lovingkindness (1987, novel)
The Pursuit of Happiness (1991, novel)
Fruitful: A Real Mother in the Modern World (1996)
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