Governor Kunin on NPR's "Go Fact Yourself" with Peter Sagal & Rebecca Makkai

On October 4th, Governor Kunin was a guest on NPR’s “Go Fact Yourself” — A show that makes smart people feel dumb… and then smart again — Appearing in this episode: HostsJ. Keith van Straaten Helen Hong with special guests Peter SagalReecca Makkai, and Bob Schwartz.

You can listen to the episode here:


Jewish Week Feature

Madeleine May Kunin’s memoir “Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties” (Green Writers Press) introduces its chapters with brief poems based on themes like downsizing, independence, love late in life, being alone and “How will I die?” Kunin was the first woman elected governor of Vermont, former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and U.S. deputy secretary of education — and the first Jewish woman to be elected governor of any U.S. state. Now a professor-at-large at the University of Vermont and activist on behalf of women in politics, she is feisty, funny, introspective, unafraid and wise as she adjusts to what she calls old age, looking both back and ahead at her future. She is a most appealing guide through this territory. While she doesn’t glorify old age, she proceeds thinking “the more life, the better,” seeing aging as a new stage of development in which she continues to learn and find joy.

Read the full article here.


Write the Book Podcast: Interview with Shelagh Shapiro

Write the Book radio show airs weekly on WBTV-LP in Burlington, Vermont. Shelagh offers in-depth, hour-long interviews with authors, poets, illustrators, agents, and editors about writing, publishing, finding inspiration, developing one’s craft, and finding community. Her show always ends with a new writing prompt, usually one recommended by that week’s guest. The easy rapport that Shelagh establishes with her guests—who include everyone from top selling and award winning authors to authors publishing with indies or self-publishing—results in a wonderful conversational flow that is fun to listen to and always informative. The archives include over 400 interviews with authors including Ann Patchett, Kate Atkinson, Colum McCann, Richard Russo, Steve Almond and Jennifer Egan.

This week’s Write the Book Prompt is to write about a transition from one era to another in your own life, as Madeleine May Kunin has written about her journey to the eighties. Are you a new teenager? A new parent? Have you recently gone through menopause? Have you retired? We are all forever going through transitions, but how often do we write about these changes in our lives, minds, bodies?

Listen to the Madeleine Kunin interview in full at this link.

Vermont Woman Magazine Feature

It is impossible to overstate the profound impact Madeleine May Kunin has had on women’s lives, hearts, and minds, as well as on the local, national, and international discourse on feminism and social justice issues. Kunin’s bravery, courage, and grace in stepping forward time and time again, as a public servant and an outspoken advocate on behalf of women’s rights, has changed the course of history. Read more . . .

Feature in SevenDays

Vermont’s first — and still only — female governor, Madeleine Kunin, was elected in 1984. The arc of her career has been formidable; she was reelected three times (the only woman in the U.S. to achieve that feat) and went on to serve as U.S. deputy secretary of education under president Bill Clinton, then as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland. 

Yet this autobiographical volume, which Kunin calls a “coming-into-old-age memoir,” is soft in all the ways that reciting credentials is not. A mixture of smooth, essayistic prose and poetry, Coming of Age is a tender and lucid reflection on what it means to grow older and slow down as a woman who has always been moving. 

As Kunin, now 85, notes in her foreword, “I . . . find that I can write differently now than when I was involved in politics. Now my skin has become more translucent. I can be more personal.” And she does relate personal stories, with subjects ranging from falling in love in her seventies to a relationship with the color red that blossomed when she turned 80. 

In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Kunin’s dignified and intimate form of storytelling hits especially hard. In “Finding a Seat,” she elegantly combines complaints about the women’s bathroom line at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts with a sharp memory of crying in a stall after being mocked by male members of the Joint Fiscal Committee. It’s evidence of her brilliance that she can cover matrilineal regimens of seat wiping, a meditation on gendered spatial politics and a triumphant message about women’s advancement in politics in just a few pages.

Link to full article by Rachel Elizabeth Jones

VT Digger feature article by Kevin O’Connor

Former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin wrote her new book “Coming of Age” at her Wake Robin retirement community apartment in Shelburne. “I was kind of anxious whether it was too personal,” she says, “but I thought other people might be feeling the same things.”

Live Interview with Vermont Edition

Former Gov. Madeleine Kunin has been an author, ambassador, advocate and governor in a career that's spanned decades. Now that long life is the focus of her new book about aging.

Gov. Kunin joins Vermont Edition in front of a live audience to talk about her "journey to the eighties" and how aging changes us in mind and spirit. And as the only woman who's served as Vermont's Governor, we'll ask her about the role of women in our current political climate.