Headlands Center for the Arts

Amy Sohn

new york | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2019

Artist Statement

I am a novelist and journalist of 20 years who has recently transitioned into historical non-fiction. My work has always dealt with women’s intimate lives and the way their choices and actions are affected by the time in which they lived. I launched a first-person newspaper column at 23 about my intimate life and have written five novels including Prospect Park West and The Actress. I consider myself a renegade artist because I push boundaries in my exploration of women’s psyches, particularly with regard to their sexuality—and attempts by men to control it. I have been called post-feminist and neo-feminist, but I prefer feminist artist.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I will be working on an upcoming work of historical non-fiction for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, The Vice Hunter’s Women. The book is about eight women who went up against Anthony Comstock, Special Agent to the US Post Office and instigator of the infamous Comstock law, which criminalized the mailing of contraception and obscenity and was on the books in some form for nearly 90 years. Less a biography of Comstock than of lesser-known feminist activists of the 19th century, the book is testament to the power of confronting an oppressive regime. I will also be working on a new work of creative non-fiction about being a woman in mid-life.

Headshot: Charles Miller
Banner image: Robert Minor


Selected Texts

“Charles Knowlton, the Father of American Birth Control,” March 2018; from JSTOR (1.55M)

“Quirks and Gossip in a Corporate Cellphone Branch,” April 2018; from The New York Times (53.77K)

“Real Life Can Be Raw, in Marriage and Death,” March 2018; from The New York Times (53.30K)

“Risqué and Radical: Benzion Liber’s X-rated Yiddish Sex Guide”, April 2016; from JSTOR (305.78K)

“The Star-Studded Life of Ms. Dorothy Bennett”, April 2016, from JSTOR (684.04K)

Personal Website