September 20, 2023
EDITOR'S NOTE: You'd think that since the late, great Obie Dziedzic was identified by Bruce Springsteen himself as his original fan, the significance and impact of women in Springsteen fandom would be something more highly recognized and understood. Nevertheless, Springsteen's female fans and their importance still haven't gotten anywhere near the recognition - especially on a scholarly level - that they merit. Like women who are fans of many other musicians and bands, their voices and perspectives too often go underappreciated, if not ignored completely.
College professors Lorraine Mangione and Donna Luff's book Mary Climbs In: The Journeys of Bruce Springsteen's Women Fans, published in June by Rutgers University Press, is a major step in changing that reality. Luff and Mangione conducted in-depth, qualitative-research surveys of approximately 2,000 female Springsteen fans. Selected excerpts from the fans' responses are woven throughout the book, illuminating both the commonalities and the diversities to be found in the experiences of being a woman who loves Bruce Springsteen's music, in ways that are deeply powerful, moving, sometimes funny, and always interesting.
For our first-ever podcast, Letters To You invited London-based journalist Herpreet Grewal, who wrote about Mangione's and Luff's book for The Guardian last July, to conduct an even more in-depth conversation with Mangione and Luff earlier this month. Each of the two authors also chose a passage from their book to read aloud.
We at Letters To You are honored and excited to make our first podcast available for everyone to listen at our newly launched SoundCloud and YouTube platforms: