Cruikshank, Margaret (L.) 1940-

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CRUIKSHANK, Margaret (L.) 1940-

PERSONAL: Born 1940, in Duluth, MN. Education: San Francisco State University, M.A. (gerontology); Loyola University, Ph.D. (English).

ADDRESSES: Offıce—Women's Studies, 5728 Fernald Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. E-mail— [email protected].

CAREER: Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University), Mankato, director of women's studies, 1975-77; University of Maine, Orono, women's studies lecturer, 1977—. Professor of English at universities, including Loyola University, Chicago, IL, Central College of Iowa, Pella, and City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 1981-97; affiliate scholar at universities, including Stanford University Center for Research on Women, 1981-88, University of California at Berkeley Bain Research Center, 1996-97, and University of Southern Maine, Portland, 1999, 2003.


Thomas Babington Macaulay, Twayne Publishers (Boston, MA), 1978.

(Editor) The Lesbian Path, 1980, revised and enlarged edition, Grey Fox Press (San Francisco, CA), 1985.

(Editor) Lesbian Studies: Present and Future, Feminist Press (Old Westbury, NY), 1982.

(Editor) New Lesbian Writing: An Anthology, Grey Fox Press (San Francisco, CA), 1984.

The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, Routledge (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor) Fierce with Reality: An Anthology of Literature on Aging, North Star Press of St. Cloud (St. Cloud, MN), 1995.

Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2003.

Contributor to Our Right to Love: A Lesbian Resource Book, edited by Ginny Vida, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1978. Contributor to periodicals, including Radical Teacher, Out and About, and Journal of Homosexuality.

SIDELIGHTS: Margaret Cruikshank is the editor and author of a number of books that deal with lesbian feminism and gay rights. Among her edited works, The Lesbian Path contains autobiographical profiles of thirty-eight lesbians and covers topics such as "coming out," conflicts with religion, and the problems with maintaining a career and raising children. Lesbian Studies: Present and Future is aimed at researchers and educators and provides information about lesbian self-perceptions, classroom psychology, biography, history, and women in prisons, among other topics. In addition, Cruikshank has edited New Lesbian Writing: An Anthology, which includes nonfiction, fiction, and poetry by lesbian authors.

In 1992 Cruikshank published The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, a work intended mainly as a college text explaining the gay rights movement. In it she covers conflicts and debates within the movement; gay rights as an intellectual, political, and sexual freedom movement; lesbian feminism; and gay culture. In 1995 Cruikshank edited an anthology of literature about aging titled Fierce with Reality: An Anthology of Literature on Aging. She followed this publication with Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging, a book covering an array of issues, including age discrimination, the social construction of aging, the rise of feminist gerontology, and healthy physical aging.

Cruikshank asserts that society overemphasizes the physical aspects of aging and that this is a hindrance to women's ability to age comfortably. Furthermore, she feels that the medical community and pharmaceutical industry have an improper relationship that leads to drugs being over-prescribed for seniors. According to Marie Shear in the Women's Review of Books, Learning to Be Old "will stimulate thought, rev up your indignation, furnish your brain, and probably prove that your mother was a damn sight more astute than you realized."

Cruikshank told CA: "I became interested in writing mainly because lesbian feminism provided me with a compelling subject. I had written an academic book and a few articles before my involvement in feminism and gay rights, but without that external impetus to create, I would not have become a writer.

"In the late 1980s as I became interested in aging, especially women's aging, my focus shifted to that subject, although I occasionally write on gay/lesbian topics. My favorite book is Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging. I began thinking about it at least ten years before I had time for the actual writing."



Booklist, February 1, 1986, review of The LesbianPath, p. 782.

Library Journal, November 15, 1984, review of NewLesbian Writing: An Anthology, p. 2114; October 15, 2002, Linda M. G. Katz, review of Learning to Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging, p. 88.

Women's Review of Books, January, 2004, Marie Shear, review of Learning to Be Old, p. 13.