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Andrea Dworkin was an American feminist, author and outspoken critic of sexual politics, particularly of the victimizing effects of pornography on women.
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She became embroiled in a libel suit against Larry Flynn's Hustler magazine for publishing sexually explicit cartoons about her. But the case was later dismissed. In addition to her political views, Dworkin found herself under harsh criticism for her size and her looks over the years.
Besides her extensive array of works on social and political issues, Dworkin wrote several novels. She had a difficult time getting her fiction published, especially in the United States. Her first novel,
Fire and Ice came in 1986 in Britain. Four years later, Mercy was released there as well. Neither book found much of an audience.
A dedicated activist for decades, Dworkin told her own story in 2002 in Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant. She was suffering from poor health in her final years, and she was especially plagued by problems with her knees.
Dworkin died on April 9, 2005, in her Washington, D.C. home at the age of 58. She was survived by her husband and fellow activist John Stoltenberg. While she had once identified herself as a lesbian, Dworkin had a long and happy relationship with Stoltenberg. The couple had been together for 30 years and had married in 1998.
A few weeks after her death, Dworkin was remembered a special service at New York City's New School of Social Research. Catharine MacKinnon and Gloria Steinem were among those who honored the late feminist. "In every century, there are a handful of writers who help the human race to evolve," said Steinem, according to BBC News. "Andrea is one of them."
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