Karen Christensen

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About Karen Christensen

Karen Christensen is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and scholar who writes about the many ways women have gained and wielded power. She is the owner and CEO of Berkshire Publishing Group, a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Press, a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and founder of the Train Campaign. Read Karen’s occasional dispatches from the frontlines of international publishing at the Berkshire Blog (or subscribe by clicking here) and follow her on Twitter @karenchristenze.

Interview with Beyond the Book podcast about #Thanksfortyping

­­I just received a copy of The Author magazine, published by the UK Society of Authors, with my article “Hidden Wives, Hidden Lives,” and checked the proofs for a longer article on the same topic coming out in Logos, Brill's “Journal of the World Publishing Community.” But more immediate – and more fun, perhaps – is a podcast interview with a host I’ve always enjoyed working with, Chris Keneally. Beyond the Book is produced by the Copyright Clearance Center, and it’s really well done. Chris was in the game early [...]

October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Writing a Woman's Life|Tags: , |

Hideous Men with E. Jean Carroll

This is E Jean Carroll, who has this week accused Donald Trump of assault and rape. I've admired her column for years, and went on her The Most Hideous Men in New York Walking Tour last month. The photo below left was taken on 19 May 2019 in front of the former Studio 54 before the group broke up and E Jean and I went to a bar to talk about publishing. She'd taken us to Trump Tower, but didn't breathe a word about what was coming in her new [...]

October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Writing a Woman's Life|

SupChina Women’s Conference

I went to the SupChina Women’s Conference in the hope of learning more about the challenges and differences in the lives of women working in the United States and China.     During many of the presentations, speakers referred to women in positive terms as the main household purchasers, without the caveat that this is the result of them bearing the major responsibility for household management (often in addition to working full-time outside of the home). People hype how women make most purchasing decisions without recognizing that this is not [...]

October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Writing a Woman's Life|

Religion for the rest of us?

(First published at berkshirepublishing.com.) “Let us pray.” On Wednesday I heard a prayer – “grace” – said before dinner for the first time in years. “Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful evening and for our fellowship.” “Help us to serve those in need.” I’d been invited to talk about the Train Campaign at the Episcopal church’s men’s dinner group. No one I asked knew about this; everyone said I should go. I had to know, not only out of curiosity but because I would need to report on it to Ray [...]

June 15th, 2019|Categories: Community|Tags: , , |

What do Valerie’s clothes say?

I hadn’t realized how useful clothes can be in understanding a life until I talked to Sarah Byrd, a fashion historian in New York. Her contention is that fashion is the most important part of everyone's history. While I don’t go quite that far, Sarah helped me look at - quite literally - the women I am writing about it a new way. Sarah and I met in a Chinese restaurant on 8th Avenue and went through a folder of photographs I’d brought of Valerie Eliot. My curiosity about fashion [...]

April 4th, 2019|Categories: Writing a Woman's Life|Tags: , , |

T. S. Eliot and his women

"How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot," wrote T. S. Eliot, but women did not find it unpleasant to meet him at all. In fact, they fell in love with him: secretaries and literary scholars alike, and the next couple of years will see a great deal of new information about T. S. Eliot's women. He was a dour, gray-faced, elderly poet in poor health who nonetheless broke at least two (and perhaps four) hearts when he married his secretary, Valerie Fletcher, in 1957. A quarter of a century earlier, he wrote [...]