A 'Manifesto' From Gillian Anderson, aka Scully

First, for British readers, a newsflash:  Gillian Anderson will not be the next Dr. Who.

Asked about stories that the next Doctor needs to be a woman, which named her as a strong contender, she said: "That is not correct.  It may need to be a woman," she added, "but it's not going to this woman, I'm afraid."

Now, more about my Washington Post interview with the actor who has gone from playing the hard-nosed special agent Dana Scully on the “X-Files” to roles as varied as Blanche DuBois for a production of “A Street Car Named Desire” at London’s National Theatre, and Miss Havisham in a BBC mini-series of “Great Expectations.”

And she keeps surprising her fans.  Her recent round of interviews is to promote a New Age-y book called “We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere,” which you wouldn't think Scully would even read, let alone Anderson write.
Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois

But despite high-profile roles playing strong, complicated women on stage and screen, the 48-year-old mother of three says that she’s at times felt fragile. 

“There have been here were maybe two or three points in my life where I have felt like the decisions that I was making weren’t good,” she said in a phone interview from London. “In a way I was my own worst enemy.”

So she and British journalist Jennifer Nadel teamed up to write We: A Manifesto.

Read my full interview with them from the Washington Post.

Rebecca Solnit on 'Mansplaining'

Rebecca Solnit is sometimes thanked — and sometimes blamed — for the word “mansplain.” Solnit’s 2008 essay “Men Explain Things to Me” helped give birth to the term, which has been canonized by the Oxford online dictionary, been translated into multiple languages and inspired countless memes.

In her new book, “The Mother of All Questions,” Solnit continues her incisive commentary on the ways women are silenced and other kinds of repression. In my phone interview with her for The Washington Post, she talked about the evolution of mansplaining and how all of us can learn to be heard.

Photo credit: © Adrian Mendoza
Here's also a question about writing, which didn't make the Post story.

You’re also a writer who uses language quite precisely, whose goal in part is “to describe nuances and shades of meaning.”  Is this a frustrating time for you?
There’s no golden age. It feels like in a legendary time people were more thoughtful. But human folly and glibness has been everywhere. We had McCarthyism when my parents were young, we had Father Coughlin when they were children, who was a right-wing anti-Semitic demagogue. There’s always been people peddling simplistic solutions and people accepting truisms that don’t describe reality. Just to call things by their true name is really powerful, to have lies called lies. Truth and accuracy are things we really need as operating procedures as we go forward.

Listening in a Post-Brexit (Post-Election) World.

"Scoundrel Time" is a new journal founded in wake of Trump's election.

In the words of editor Paula Whyman: "Today there are forces trying their hardest to divide us. In the face of that, art in its many forms can give voice to our concerns, hopes, fears, anxieties—and joys."


I was pleased to be asked to submit a piece about my experience as an American in the UK, post-Brexit, post-Trump


Photo credit: Paul Edwards
Do check out the journal, too!