Women Runners edited by Irene Reti and Bettianne Shoney Sien, paperback, 304 pages, Breakaway Books (2003), ISBN: 1891369423
This anthology by and about women runners truly captures the essence of running, and the spirits and dreams of women. The runners in these stories, essays, and poems cover the whole range of women: young and old, single and married, gay and straight, fast and slow, casual runners and fierce. These are not profiles of elite runners or Olympic personalities. They are moving works of literature about ordinary people achieving something extraordinary in their lives. These women run to seek a sense of strength, self-confidence or self-esteem. They run because they are healing – from sexual violence, from grief, from loss, from depression, from breast cancer. They run as a form of meditation, for introspective time alone. They run because they love to run. They run to challenge themselves. They run because it draws them into an intimate relationship with nature, with the landscapes they run through. They run together with other women, forging lifelong friendships in the process. They run with a sense of adventure, with a passion for the world and their motion through it. The runners in these stories are high school girls. They are women in their seventies. They are rural, suburban and urban. They are women of all races and ethnicities. They are mayors, teachers, waitresses, artists, writers, and coaches. They run up volcanoes in Hawaii, traverse the Rocky Mountains, through Yosemite Park, along the Oregon coast, in the cities of Bangladesh, through the hills of southern California, the mountains of Virginia, down the coast of Maine, across northern Florida, and through the streets of New York City. This writing is beautiful and emotional; and thee women describe something awesome: how running will renew, recreate and empower you. Irene Reti is the editor of numerous anthologies: her memoir, "The Keeper of Memory", is about growing up as the daughter of Holocaust survivors who kept their Jewish identity a secret from her. Bettianne Shoney Sien has run 14 marathons: Her short stories have been widely published, and she is a teacher in Santa Cruz (USA/California).