A Writer’s Regrets

by Phyllis Chesler

In the mid-1970s, I wrote a proposal for a book about exile which, I predicted, would become the largest state in the world, both geographically and psychologically. I wanted to travel to many continents to interview those who were living in exile. Despite the enthusiasm of my agent, the wonderful Elaine Markson, publishers were interested—but not in funding the kind of travel I had in mind. Had I not been teaching full-time, I might have stopped right there and spent years writing a grant proposal. I did not do so. And, I moved on to other book-babies.

From time to time, I regret not having written this book.

In the mid-1990s, I wrote a proposal for a book about rape as a weapon of war, not as a spoil of war. I had an interested editor, a supportive agent—but the editor had to leave for health-related reasons and the senior editor was not interested in the subject.

I now wish I had been able to write this book, too.

Small troubles in a world that is gravely ill.