Feministing Reads: What We’re Reading

Here’s what we’re reading this month. Let us know what’s on your literary agenda in the comment.

Juliana: I’m (slowly) reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. It’s totally reframing how I understood the U.S. involvement in dictatorships in South and Central America. In it, she argues that the U.S. backed dictatorships like those in Argentina and Brazil so as to sneak in their neoliberal, free-market economic policies which have ultimately been exported around the world through shock and force, drastically increasing inequality and hurting democracy.

Courtney: I’m reading H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. It’s a memoir about Helen’s experience losing her father and the complications of her grief. All this weaves in and out of her learning to train a goshawk named Mabel, a hawk she acquires right after her father dies.  I’m a little over halfway through, but so far I’ve been most compelled by the theme of what it means to “tame” — to tame ourselves (in particular our secret, closeted selves), our emotions, and in Helen’s very literal case — taming or training this wild bird of prey. There’s also an interesting historical bit about the very male history of falconry.  It’s a pretty raw book, one that I feel like I might need to read more than once.drawingblood

Maya: I got artist and journalist Molly Crabapple’s memoir Drawing Blood for my sister for Christmas and ended up reading it all in one day sitting in front of the fireplace at my parents’ place. Hadn’t had such a lovely binge-reading experience in awhile.

I also recently read and loved Amy Berkowitz’s book-length lyric essay Tender Points about fibromyalgia, sexual violence, and medicine’s sexist response to women’s invisible chronic pain. Also, don’t miss this interview with her at The New Inquiry.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 5.35.28 PMDana: Maya, I can’t wait to check out Tender Points. I’m in the middle of The Administration of Fear (a long interview with speed theorist Paul Virilio) and Ali Smith’s Artful [Ed. note: as recommended by my dog Margot]. I just finished Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, which I loved and got me thinking about doubt, empathy, survivorship and trauma, about how to bear witness to a hurt the law does not (and perhaps should not) recognize. (“How do I inhabit someone’s pain,” Jamison writes, “without inhabiting their particular understanding of that pain?”)

Alexandra: Dana just sent me a copy of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney. And I’m finishing up Feministing-favorite Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty.

Lori: I’m getting on a plane on Thursday and excited to finally dig into A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Also I am clinging like a limpet to my review copy of Rebecca Traister’s All The Single Ladies which I believe you can preorder here.

Washington, DC

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com. During her four years at the site, she wrote about gender violence, reproductive justice, and education equity and ran the site's book review column. She is now a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center and also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN, and NPR.

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com.

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