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Surviving the Death of a Feminist Founder

by pk mutch (originally published in

Surviving the Death of a Feminist Founder

When Inanna Publication's Editor-in-Chief Luciana Ricciutelli died suddenly at the age of 62 in December 2020, Inanna Publishing, Canada's longest-running feminist book publishing house, was thrown for a Wonderland Behemoth rollercoaster size loop. The fact that this tragic event occurred amid the pandemic also didn't help. Ricciutelli served as Editor-in-Chief for 28 of Inanna's 44-year history and basically built up the organization. Since 1996, Inanna has published 288 titles, 255 of which were published under Ricciutelli's direction. Today, Inanna publishes approximately ten to twenty titles per year. Who is Inanna? Inanna Publications and Education Inc. is one of a very few independent feminist presses in Canada committed to publishing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by and about women, and complementing this with relevant non-fiction, that brings new, innovative and diverse perspectives with the potential to change and enhance women’s lives everywhere. Their aim is to conserve a publishing space dedicated to feminist voices that provoke discussion, advance feminist thought, and speak to diverse lives of women. Inanna is also the proud publisher of one of Canada’s oldest feminist journals, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme. Recovery and Looking Ahead Brenda Cranney, Inanna's interim publisher and long-time board member says "When our long-term editor-in-chief and good friend, Luciana Ricciutelli, died suddenly we were all devastated and in shock. It was a struggle for the team to even put a short-term plan in place. Should we close shop or go on. We tried to think about what would Lu do and we knew we had to pick up the pieces and keep going. We had no time to grieve, instead got busy keeping Luciana’s dream alive. The first six months were painful, in part because of the stressful learning curve for all of us and also our inability to grieve for Luciana. The team worked long hours to bring our scheduled books to publication." While grief and the pandemic took their toll on the four-team member organization, Cranny assures, "we are back"! Now with new additional team members on board including new Managing Editor, Rebecca Rosenblum in place, we are able to make plans for the future." Cranney's favorite books? Diary in the Age of Water, a sci-fi novel about the climate-induced journey of Earth and humanity through four generations of women, each with a unique relationship to water, by Nina Munteanu and The Narrows of Fear, (Wapawikoscikanik), a novel about trauma of inter-generational violence and four strong women united in friendship and solidarity by Carol Rose GoldenEagle For more great books from Inanna, check out this recording of their November 17th fall list launch and re-opening event.

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