Anna Strunsky Walling
March 21, 1877 - February 25, 1964
Anna Strunsky-Walling was an American writer, political activist, thinker and author, journalist and promoter of socialist ideas of the early XX century, focused on social problems and the labor movement of the early XX century.
Anna Strunsky Walling – A Socialist Writer to the End
Anna Strunsky Walling was born to a Jewish family of Elias Strunsky and Anna Horowitz in Babinovitch, then Russian Empire, now – Belarus. The family emigrated to New York City when the girl was nine years old, later moving to San Francisco, California.
Anna took an interest in politics very early in her life: she joined the Socialist Labor Party when she was a teenager, remaining a devoted socialist for the rest of her life. She enrolled into Stanford University, where she met the young writer Jack London, becoming close friends and colleagues in political activities.
Very soon Anna and her sister Rose became leading members of the liberal San Francisco circles, joining a radical socialist group of young Californian writers and artists known as "The Crowd" that included Jack London, Jim Whitaker, George Sterling, and others. In 1903, Walling, in cooperation with Jack London, published - anonymously, under a pseudonym – her first book, The Kempton-Wace Letters.
Anna's relations with Jack London became the subject of her memoirs, published after London's death in 1916. They even came close to an engagement, but Anna refused Jack's proposition and the question was never raised again.
After the revolution of 1905 in Russia, Anna and Rose returned to Russia to work for William English Walling's Revolutionary News Bureau. Political work made Anna and WIlliam closer – the colleagues and friends became lovers, married and soon returned to the United States. But the same political work was the reason the couple divorced during the World War I - their disagreement on America's involvement in the conflict proved to be too much for the relationship...
Anna continued writing, and in 1915 published her second book, Violette of Père Lachaise. She also continued her advocacy of socialism, becoming a participant in Quaker social activity, and a member of several liberal-left groups, including the War Resisters League, the League for Mutual Aid, the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment, the League for Industrial Democracy, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Later, she toned down her rhetoric and wound down her political activities, but still remained a convinced socialist. She died on February 25, 1964 in New York, survived by her four children, Rosamund, Anna, Georgia and Hayden.
Pratt, Norma Fain Anna Strunsky Walling, 1879–1964.
London, Jack and Strunsky, Anna. The Kempton-Wace Letters Mills & Boon, London, 1903.
<< back <<