On March 12, the National Book Critics Circle awarded the late Ellen Willis the top prize in its criticism category for The Essential Ellen Willis, a collection of over 40 years’ worth of Willis’s writing. Willis, who served as the first-ever pop critic for the New Yorker in the early Sixties, died of lung cancer at the age of 64 in 2006. She began writing for the Village Voice in the early Seventies, and became a staff writer here in 1979, where she remained as a writer and senior editor for the next decade. Edited by her daughter, journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz, The Essential Ellen Willis is a wonderfully motley assortment of essays, reported features, and political commentary. It also includes a generous helping of articles that originally appeared in the Village Voice. On the next page, you can read a piece she wrote for the cover of the July 29, 1981, issue, “Escape From New York,” which appears in the anthology. They don’t look real to me How can I miss you if you won’t go away? For Americans, long-distances buses are the transportation of last resort. As most people see it, buses combine the comfort of a crowded… Read full this story
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