The Riddles of the Sphinx By Anna Shechtman

  • Narrated by: Anna Shechtman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Release date: 03-05-24

The Riddles of the Sphinx By Anna Shechtman AudioBook summary

Combining the soul-baring confessional of Brain on Fire and the addictive storytelling of The Queen’s Gambit, a renowned puzzle creator’s compulsively enjoyable memoir and history of the crossword puzzle as an unexpected site of women’s work and feminist protest.

The indisputable “queen of crosswords,” Anna Shechtman published her first New York Times puzzle at age nineteen, and later, spearheaded the The New Yorker’s popular crossword section. Working with a medium often criticized as exclusionary, elitist, and out-of-touch, Anna is one of very few women in the field of puzzle making, where she strives to make the everyday diversion more diverse.

In this fascinating work—part memoir, part cultural analysis—she excavates the hidden history of the crossword and the overlooked women who have been central to its creation and evolution, from the “Crossword Craze” of the 1920s to the role of digital technology today. As she tells the story of her own experience in the CrossWorld, she analyzes the roles assigned to women in American culture, the boxes they’ve been allowed to fill, and the ways that they’ve used puzzles to negotiate the constraints and play of desire under patriarchy.

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