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Ellen Hawkes

Ellen Hawkes'

Ellen Hawkes is a freelance writer and teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She majored in English at Harvard, then was a Fulbright Scholar in England at Cambridge University where she studied 19th and 20th century British women novelists. She received a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University, and her dissertation analyzed Virginia Woolf's feminism in her novels and essays. She has taught literature and writing at Stanford, Boston University and the University of California at Santa Cruz. A co-founder and editor of "The Virginia Woolf Miscellany," she has written articles for national and international magazines, including Parade, Reader's Digest, Ladies Home Journal, Penthouse, Paris Match and The London Times Magazine. She is a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine, in which this profile of Janeane Garofalo first appeared. Her books include the mystery novel The Shadow of the Moth (in which Virginia Woolf is the detective), a study of feminism in Feminism on Trial (based on the trial of National Organization for Women leader Ginny Foat) and Blood and Wine (a story of the Gallo wine family feud). Her profile of Janeane Garofalo represents what she most enjoys in her magazine work -- combining a personal profile with highlighting political and social issues.

"Given the controversy about whether celebrities should 'speak out' about their political views, Janeane made a strong point," Hawkes says, recalling their interview. "Janeane insisted that she has the right to express her opinions, but she pointed out that it is our media culture and infatuation with celebrity that require a 'name' or 'face' to gain access to the camera or the microphone. She acknowledged that she and other celebrities are still put down (and excoriated by the right) for speaking out and really not knowing what they're talking about, but she argued that this criticism is usually a diversion from what should be serious discussions. Perhaps to counter this criticism, Janeane reads avidly and earnestly (she arrived at our interview with a backpack of books that weighed almost as much as she), and her accumulated knowledge has led to her increasing ease and success as co-host of Air America Radio's 'Majority Report.' It was a pleasure to interview Janeane, and I hope she inspires others to speak out and defend the right to free speech and their opinions. She was a terrific subject to interview, given her quickness, wit, education on the issues and articulateness and, when reminded, her great sense of humor. I especially honor her for early efforts to oppose the war on Iraq, especially since many of her prognostications of a quagmire and loss of thousands of Iraqi and American lives have now come true." She can be reached by e-mail at webmaster@talltalestogo.net.

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