The Power to Dream–an extraordinary collection of interviews with sixteen important women in the creative arts–began in 1974 when Nancy Jo Hoy picked up her telephone to a gentle voice that announced, “Hello, this is Anais Nin.”
The extended interview with Nin, whose memoirs stand out as a major work of the twentieth century, led to other women and other interviews. Artist Judy Chicago, feminist novelist and philosopher Marilyn French, international opera singer Barbara Hendricks (as well as United Nations worker with refugees), writer Maxine Hong Kingston, environmentalist thinker Frances Moore Lappe, revolutionary and writer Meridel Le Sueur, dancer and choreographer Bella Lewitzky, poet Diane Wakoski, and octogenarian potter and fine artist Beatrice Wood are only some of the women represented here.
In 1995, twenty years after her phone call from Nin, Nancy Joy Hoy would end her book with an interview with writer Alice Walker. Ironically, because of the borrowed time it took to complete her project, Hoy’s The Power to Dream stands as one of the only histories of the emergence of women into the public world of the arts.