Graff, E.J. 1958–

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Graff, E.J. 1958–

PERSONAL: Born July 8, 1958, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of George (a computer scientist) and Carol (a politician) Graff. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Ohio University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1979; Warren Wilson College, M.F.A., 1986.

ADDRESSES: Office—Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism, 415 South St., Mailstop 043, Waltham, MA 02454. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Journalist, essayist, and writer. American Prospect, senior correspondent; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Women's Studies Research Center, resident scholar; Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism, Waltham, Gender & Justice project, senior researcher. Has been a visiting scholar, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 1997–98; affiliated scholar, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 1998–99; fellow in law and journalism, Harvard Law School, 2000–01.

AWARDS, HONORS: Massachusetts Artists Foundation award, 1989, for poetry; Astraea Foundation's Emerging Writer's Award, 1993; Watertown Cultural Council Award for Fiction, 1995; Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Fiction, 1996; Margolis Award, 1996, for political essay and journalism.


What Is Marriage For?, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 1999, reprinted with a new foreword by Richard Goldstein, 2004.

(With Evelyn F. Murphy) Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid like Men—And What To Do about It, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to several anthologies, including Information and Meaning: Critical Readings for the Contemporary Composition Student, edited by Jennifer Ivers, 2004; and Frame and Focus, Pearson Custom Publishing, 2004; contributor to periodicals, including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Nation, New Republic, and the New York Times magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: In What Is Marriage For?, E.J. Graff, who was married in a ceremony not recognized by church or state, discusses the historical and contemporary factors defining marriage. Graff's major thrust in the book is that marriage has always been a hot political battleground, shifting constantly to fit each culture and class, each era and economy. A Publishers Weekly contributor remarked that "on the whole Graff's argument is spirited and likely to generate discussion." The reviewer went on to call What Is Marriage For? a "well-researched and entertaining history of Western marriage."

In the book's six major sections—Money, Sex, Babies, Kin, Order, and Heart—Graff tells how marriage has changed over the years. An ardent feminist, she reviews various religious beliefs pertaining to marriage and examines different legal approaches to marriage's perpetual dilemmas. After tracing marriage philosophy in the Western Hemisphere between 1850 and 1950, she concludes that same-sex marriage naturally fits into today's meaning of marriage.

Graff collaborated with Evelyn F. Murphy, president of the Women Are Getting Even (WAGE) Project, to write Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid like Men—And What To Do about It. The book focuses on the longtime wage disparity between the sexes even after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which includes a provision mandating equal employment opportunity regardless or sex, race, color, national origin, or religion. The first section of the book focuses on explaining the wage gap, followed by sections documenting wage differences and providing answers that can help women achieve similar wages as men for the same type of work. In an interview with Jennifer L. Pozner in Women's Review of Books, Graff commented on how official complaints made by women to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have changed little in terms of wages. Graff noted: "No law is self-enforcing. Lacking an active movement to bring public attention to a problem, insist on enforcement, and shame the wrongdoers, the law can be flouted." Cecil Johnson, writing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, called Getting Even an "eye-opening and sometimes shocking book." Women's Review of Books contributor Alice Kessler-Harris wrote that "each of … [the book's] sections makes a forceful argument,"



American Prospect, May, 2006, Ann Crittenden, review of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid like Men—And What To Do about It, p. 48.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 15, 2005, Cecil Johnson, review of Getting Even.

Library Journal, September 1, 1999, Kay L. Brodie, review of What Is Marriage For?, p. 218; October 1, 2005, Erica L. Foley, review of Getting Even, p. 92.

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 1999, review of What Is Marriage For?, p. 79.

Women's Review of Books, October, 1999, Nancy Polikoff, review of What Is Marriage For?, p. 19; May-June, 2006, Alice Kessler-Harris, review of Getting Even, p. 3; May-June, 2006, Jennifer L. Pozner, "The Tax on Being Female: 23 Cents Per Hour and Counting," interview with author, p. 5.


Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism Web site, (December 22, 2006), author profile.

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Graff, E.J. 1958–

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