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Taking My Life

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Discovered in her papers as a handwritten manuscript in 2008, Jane Rule's autobiography is a rich and culturally significant document that follows the first twenty-one years of her life.In writing about her formative years, she is indeed "taking" the measure of her life, assessing its contours of pleasure and pain, and accounting precisely for how it evolved, with great di ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Talonbooks (first published October 11th 2011)
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3.93  · 
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Rule definitely has a distinct trademark style, which is evident even in Taking My Life. Her writing is dry, ironic, unemotional, and direct, yet understated. It is not the kind that you whip through; rather, it’s a languishing over, doubling back to catch the dry humour kind of prose. I find her style endlessly captivating while at the same time frustrating, like there are emotional truths and impact that Rule is just not giving me. After reading just the first paragraph of the memoir, I was ta ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you are a Jane Rule aficionado, like me, have read all of her books, as I have, then you will revel in this memoir of her first twenty one years. If you agree with Katherine V. Forrest's assessment of Jane Rule as one of our most important writers of the twentieth century, this book is a delight and a necessity. It is everything one hopes a memoir to be: revealing, and in Rule's case, luminous, brilliantly written as any of her novels. Her last known work, with herself as the subject, Rule de ...more
Erika Nerdypants
Very short but extremely interesting autobiography by Jane Rule. "Taking My Life" was written in the 80s, after Rule had officially retired from writing due to crippling arthritis. The book only deals with life events up to her 21st birthday, but it gave me wonderful insights into the life of a beloved author. She was born at a time when although social mores were rapidly changing, life for a young woman was still very much ruled by societal expectations of what was acceptable conduct. Rule real ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
omg gimme more! I wish this didn't end at 21 and covered her whole life, and also that every lesbian novelist would write an autobiography. I only read this bc it was available on the public library app to read on my phone, and I'm so glad I saw it.
Sheila Heuvel-Collins
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
While it was interesting to learn about the early part of Rule's life, there's a reason she didn't offer up the book for publishing while she was alive. A writer needs to *finish* writing the story before the publisher get to make money off it.
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Jane Vance Rule was a Canadian writer of lesbian-themed novels and non-fiction. American by birth and Canadian by choice, Rule's pioneering work as a writer and activist reached across borders.

Rule was born on March 28, 1931, in Plainfield, New Jersey, and raised in the Midwest and California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College in 1952. In 1954 she joined the faculty of
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