Books: Sisterhood of Scribblers



336 pages. Doubleday. $10.

In her preface to Literary Women, Ellen Moers admits that she once thought "segregating major writers from the general course of literary history simply because of their sex was insulting." Her instincts were right. But trapped in a boondoggle—a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for a book on women writers—Moers betrayed her better judgment. With forced bravado, she tucks three centuries of French, English and American authors between the covers of her book, as if she were playing hostess to a slumber party of pen pals.

The strain of finding a common bond...