Heidi Holland, an art history professor and essayist who teaches at Columbia University. After attending Miss Crain’s School in Chicago in the mid-1960’s, she pursues her education as an undergraduate at Vassar and a member of the art history graduate program at Yale in the early 1970’s. Throughout her professional career, she advocates greater recognition for female artists, demonstrating at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1974, writing the book And the Light Floods in from the Left in the late 1970’s, directing the group Women’s Art in 1982, and arranging a show on Lila Cabot Perry in 1984. Although she has a deepening friendship with Peter Patrone and long-standing relationships with Susan Johnston and Scoop Rosenbaum, she feels lonely and stranded in 1986. Dissatisfied with social standards that discourage both women and men from recognizing and achieving their full potential, Heidi hopes that Judy, the Panamanian infant she adopts in 1988, will live in a more encouraging milieu than the one in which she came of age.
Scoop Rosenbaum, a man whom Heidi meets at a 1967 Eugene McCarthy fund-raiser in New Hampshire. Dressed in blue jeans and a work shirt, the Exeter graduate and Princeton dropout informs her that he is the editor in chief of The Liberated Earth News and displays a penchant for assigning grades to potato chips, music, people, and whatever else strikes his fancy. Describing himself as arrogant, difficult, and very smart, he simultaneously attracts and repels Heidi, with whom he carries on a sexual relationship while a Yale law student in 1970 and United States Supreme Court clerk in 1974. A junior associate at Sullivan Cromwell in 1977, he marries Lisa Friedlander, explaining to Heidi that, although he will always love the “A+” Heidi, the “A-” Lisa will prove to be a less competitive and, hence, more satisfactory wife. After becoming...
(The entire section is 801 words.)