Alicia Ostriker Biography | Author of Mastectomy

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Alicia Ostriker was born on November 11, 1937, in New York City, to David, a civil service employee, and Beatrice Suskin, both of whom had earned bachelor degrees in English. Ostriker grew up in a housing project in New York City where her mother read Shakespeare and Browning, among others, which inspired a love of literature in her and prompted her to write her own poetry. Ostriker earned a B.A. from Brandeis University in 1959 and an M.A. (1961) and a Ph.D. (1964) from the University of Wisconsin. A year later, she began teaching at Rutgers University.

Ostriker’s first book of poems, Songs, was published in 1969. By the time her collections The Mother/Child Papers (1980) and A Woman under the Surface (1982) appeared, her reputation as an important American poet had been established. In 1986, her controversial treatise on literary feminism, Stealing the Language, was published. After that...

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