Murdoch, Joyce

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Murdoch, Joyce

PERSONAL:

Married Deb Price (an editor and columnist), 2003. Education: University of Georgia, graduated (summa cum laude).

ADDRESSES:

Home—Tacoma Park, MD. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Detroit News, Detroit, MI, bureau chief in Washington, DC; Washington Post, Washington, DC, editor; National Journal, Washington, DC, managing editor for politics; has also worked as a congressional press secretary and as an Atlanta Journal reporter; former owner of an independent news service company.

WRITINGS:

(With Deb Price) And Say Hi to Joyce: America's First Gay Column Comes Out, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Deb Price) Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS:

Longtime journalist Joyce Murdoch is also the author of books with her partner, Deb Price. The couple's first book together, And Say Hi to Joyce:America's First Gay Column Comes Out, is a collection of Price's columns for the Detroit News covering the period of 1992 to 1994. Murdoch contributes intermittent narrative chapters that focus on how the column was created and details reader response. She also writes about her relationship with Price and the many people the couple have met since they have come out as openly homosexual. Price's columns focus primarily on gay and lesbian issues within various social contexts, such as the military and religion. Ann Northrop, writing in the Lambda Book Review, commented: "All in all, this book will work well for the same audience that reads the column. It is not a primer for gay activists. But it does consistently and wholeheartedly urge everyone to come out and be proud, and it does it with some useful historical perspective." Referring to Price's columns as "engaging and spirited," a Publishers Weekly contributor also observed that Murdoch's narrative chapters feature "good-humored prose" as she discusses the need for gay journalists.

Murdoch and Price collaborated once again for Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court. Here the authors provide an historical perspective of Supreme Court decisions and treatment of gay and lesbian issues dating back to the 1950s. In addition to covering the dozen or so cases the court has reviewed with full briefing and oral arguments, the authors include six cases that obtained summary judgments and the many cases the court has refused to hear. They also profile many of the people involved in these cases, from the plaintiffs to lawyers, judges, and clerks. "The cast of characters involved is fascinating," reported Mary Carroll in Booklist. Writing in the Washington Monthly, Stephanie Mencimer noted that the authors "scoured the National Archives, interviewed former court clerks, and tracked down many of the original plaintiffs and defendants to hear their tales." Mencimer went on to state that "Murdoch and Price show how much the work for their acceptance, at least by the nation's highest court, is only beginning."

In addition to the book's appeal to general readers, reviewers have felt that Courting Justice also has educational value. The work helps to gauge "the extent to which the Supreme Court acknowledges and incorporates evolving societal norms," according to Philip Y. Blue in the Library Journal. Referring to the book as a "well-researched, highly informative and chatty history," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that Courting Justice "fills a gap in lesbian and gay studies and legal studies."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Advocate, May 30, 1995, Liz Smith, review of And Say Hi to Joyce: America's First Gay Column Comes Out, p. 61.

Booklist, June 1, 2001, Mary Carroll, review of Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court, p. 1814.

Choice, January, 2002, P.K. Cline, review of Courting Justice, p. 972.

Curve, August, 2001, Rachel Pepper, review of Courting Justice, p. 45.

DePaul Law Review, summer, 2002, Donald H.J. Hermann, review of Courting Justice, pp. 1215-1224.

Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, January-February, 2002, Jo Ann Citron, review of Courting Justice, p. 30.

Lambda Book Report, July-August, 1995, Ann Northrup, review of And Say Hi to Joyce, p. 31.

Law and Social Inquiry, winter, 2002, review of Courting Justice, p. 189.

Library Journal, June 15, 2001, Philip Y. Blue, review of Courting Justice, p. 89.

New Jersey Law Journal, June 11, 2001, Tony Mauro, review of Courting Justice, p. 22.

New York Law Journal, July 27, 2001, William Heinzen, review of Courting Justice, p. 2.

New York Times Book Review, October 22, 1995, Carolyn T. Hughes, review of And Say Hi to Joyce, p. 36.

Publishers Weekly, June 5, 1995, review of And Say Hi to Joyce, p. 46; May 28, 2001, review of Courting Justice, p. 72.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2002, review of Courting Justice, p. 113.

Washington Monthly, July, 2001, Stephanie Mencimer, review of Courting Justice, p. 56.

Washington Post, June 4, 2001, Charles Lane, "Book Traces Justices' Stance toward Gays," p. A17; June 11, 2001, Hastings Wyman, "Homosexuality and the High Court," review of Courting Justice, p. C05.

ONLINE

Advocate Online,http://www.advocate.com/ (July 23, 2003), "Washington Post Publishes First Gay Marriage Announcement."

CommonDreams.org,http://www.commondreams.org/ (June 4, 2001), Charles Lane, review of Courting Justice.

InsightOut Book Club,http://www.insightoutbooks.com/ (September 17, 2004), review of Courting Justice.

National Journal Web site,http://nationaljournal.com/ (April 22, 2007), brief profile of Joyce Murdoch.

Perseus Book Group,http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/ (April 22, 2007), brief profile of Joyce Murdoch.

Rain Taxi Online,http://www.raintaxi.com/ (April 22, 2007), Jane S. Van Ingen, review of Courting Justice.