Thursday, September 6, 2012

Judith's Room

681 Washington Street today
Judith's Room

Location: 681 Washington Street, New York, New York, USA

Opened: 1989

Closed: January 1995

Judith's Room was a women's bookstore in the West Village. It was started by Carol Levin and Sally Owen. Here's how the owners described their store to the New York Times back in January 1994:

"We provide books whose primary purpose is to cater to women's needs and interests -- history, art, photography, philosophy, literature -- where women are not an afterthought but are the prime focus of the books," Ms. Levin said. Specifically, she said, Judith's Room specializes in books published by small independent publishers, like Naiad Press, Firebrand Books and Cleis.

This is what Radical Walking Tours of New York City said about Judith's Room after its demise:  

I used to take my tours to 681 Washington Street, the home of Judith's Room bookstore from 1989 to 1995. Unfortunately Judith's Room, one of the last women's bookstores in NYC, closed. It had great books, t-shirts, magazines and readings, but was in a poor location. Also, thanks to the women's movement of the 1960s, most bookstores now have a women's section. But the sections are usually not as good as in an independent bookstore. Through the years, I was always saddened when, upon talking about this bookstore, I was asked by a woman, "What's a women's bookstore?" Were the 1960s that long ago?

In 1991, the poet Hettie Jones gave a reading there. The poet Audre Lorde also gave a number of readings at Judith's Room as well.

1 comment:

  1. I was a winner of the Judith's Room award in the late eighties, I think. I have no documentation of that and wonder if anyone else does. If I'm not mistaken, one of the other winners that year was Gerry Gomez Pearlberg.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.