Letter to Editor by Professor Emerita Kay Boyle Rediscovered

Monday, August 01, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- For a while now, I’ve been nibbling late-night snacks from a thick book on the nightstand: “Kay Boyle; A 20th Century Life in Letters,” edited by Sandra Spanier. Novelist-essayist-poet Boyle, who died in 1992, was one of the expat artists and writers who lived in Paris in the ’20s. In the decades after, she was most famous as a literary figure midcentury. Later, teaching at SF State, she became especially known for political protest, for defying then-President S.I. Hayakawa when students and faculty went on strike. Last week I came upon a letter she sent to the Chronicle in ’89, commenting on a story that said “the solution to the homeless problem in Marin County has been postponed until after Christmas.” That was “sensible,” she wrote, but why not postpone it until after the new year? “The week after Christmas is inevitably a time when innumerable demands are made — such as disposing of the mountain of discarded wrapping and boxes under the Christmas tree.”