Skip to main content

Molly Ivins

April 23, 2020

Why does it always take me so long to find out about such cool people?

I love Molly Ivins. She’s been dead for just over 13 years, but I still think she’s one of the coolest people I’ll never meet. I don’t agree with her politics or everything she says, but I her voice is so unique and powerful that I can’t help but be infatuated. 
Wait – you don’t know who Molly Ivins was? Ok, let’s start at the beginning.
I first came across Ms. Ivins in the recently released documentary, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins. This film shows us her life as a hard-core liberal journalist from the great state of Texas. I think part of the reason I was drawn to her is that she was six feet tall and described by all of her friends as “big-boned” (#biggirlsforever). Molly had a big presence and a big mouth – but most of the time she was just saying what we were all thinking. The scary thing is that a lot of what she says about the “Texas Lege” (legislature) in the 1970s and 1980s could be said about politicians today. We like to think that we are evolving as the years pass, but when it comes to politics, I’m not so sure. Some of her words still sound oddly applicable.
After watching the documentary, I was curious to read Molly Ivins, not just watch her on the screen, so I found her first book, Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? While I must admit that I found parts of this book dated and a little slow, I think I enjoyed it mostly due to nostalgia. I remember the '80s and '90s when I was just a kid. It was interesting to get a knowledgeable adult’s perspective on big events from my past. NPL has this in our Grantham Collection, so you’ll have to use it in the library. But if you are at all curious about the writings of Ms. Ivins, this is a must-read.
Lastly, I checked out Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith’s 2010 bio, Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life. Instead of rehashing all the great words that Molly had already written, the authors focused on telling her story. It was interesting to get the VH1 Behind the Music version of her life from two writers who knew her personally. It really pulled me in – to the point that I got teary-eyed at the end of the book when Molly (SPOILER ALERT) loses her battle with cancer. I knew it was coming and I still needed Kleenex.
I’m glad I found such a powerful female voice and I wish she was still around today to continue speaking truth to power. After all, us big girls got to stick together.
Happy rebelling…
:) Amanda

Panda cub avatar


Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.