We’ve blogged a few times about this awesome, on-the-road project from Nona Willis Aronowitz and the late Emma Bee Bernstein, but I wanted to give the official thumbs up after having finally had the chance to read this fascinating tour-de-force cover to cover.
I was most struck by two elements of this unique book (and major brava to Seal for taking a chance on publishing something so unorthodox). First, the breadth of voices was astounding. Whether I was in Sioux Falls listening to a bartender bitch about the irrelevance of her degree or Portland hearing Banji scoff at the label of feminism, I was learning something. As Elizabeth Kolbert writes about in one of the latest issues of the New Yorker, one of the disappointments of the internet is that it allows us to retreat into our ideological bubbles even further–only visiting blogs and websites that support the view we already hold. I’m a big believer that this kind of balkanization of thought is not good for us. Period. But what Nona and Emma’s book does is breaks out of that balkanization and get us face-to-face with folks all over the country who we may or may not have much in common with. I’m so grateful for that gift.
The other thing that’s undeniably striking about this book is the authenticity of Nona and Emma’s voices through out. They are infinitely likable and obviously flawed. They smoke a lot of weed. They even drop acid. They write–sometimes with more romance, sometimes less–about the journey of thought and geography that they undertake together at this critical moment in both of their lives. Their voices struck me as distinctly young and alive and unapologetic, another huge gift to a lady looking ahead at her 30s and feeling a bit less wide-eyed than I used to. Nona and Emma recaputure that spirit for me. The sound of their voices are a testament to how the feminist movement reinvigorates itself. Neverending.
Thanks girls.

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