Posts Tagged Books

Not Oprah’s Book Club: The Empathy Exams

The first essay of Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, from which the collection takes it title, begins with a declaration of performed pain: “My job title is medical actor, which means I get to play sick.” The final, “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain,” ends with a “search for possibility.” It asks how we might understand this performed pain–bloody, self-inflicted, purple, feminized or otherwise–and also all pain, in all its painfulness, as real. The nine essays in between are exercises in not letting the violence of metaphor, and metaphorizing pain (the act of writing, really), overpower painful realities and the reality of pain itself. They are, as Jamison titles two paired series of shorter essays, “pain ...

The first essay of Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, from which the collection takes it title, begins with a declaration of performed pain: “My job title is medical actor, which means I get ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: The Essential Ellen Willis

I owe so much, as a writer and feminist, to Ellen Willis. And given how much of her work has remained uncollected or gone out of print, I suspect that we collectively owe her much more than has yet been accounted for. This month’s publication of The Essential Ellen Willis will, I hope, urge the accounting. Edited by her daughter, journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz, this sprawling book surveys four decades of the cultural critic’s writing, beginning with the emergence of radical feminism in the late 1960s and continuing to the near present. (Willis died in 2006.)  [Ed note: this was at a time when "radical feminism" was more broadly defined and did not mean anti-sex worker and ...

I owe so much, as a writer and feminist, to Ellen Willis. And given how much of her work has remained uncollected or gone out of print, I suspect that we collectively owe her much more ...

It's not you 27 wrong reasons you're single by Sara Eckel's book cover

Not Oprah’s Bookclub: It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single

I never buy e-books. Well, I never bought e-books until I read Sara Eckel’s New York Times article “The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years.” I normally avoid reading pieces that address adult singledom; most of them end up being fodder for a self-flagellation fest over some unknown collection of traits I must have that make me destined to die alone. Fortunately, Eckel’s piece provided a refreshing, honest view of some struggles of being a single woman for most of her life.

Despite framing the piece through her experience as a woman in her 40s who moved in with her boyfriend of six months–something that I could absolutely not relate to in any way–I was surprised to find ...

I never buy e-books. Well, I never bought e-books until I read Sara Eckel’s New York Times article “The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years.” I normally avoid reading pieces that address adult singledom; ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: October

An exemplary homecoming: Mercia and her partner Craig venture to a river to watch salmon fight their way upstream after a summer at sea. The regularity of this cycle—birth, exile, return, year after year, generation after generation—does not diminish its drama. The scale of the salmon’s struggle impresses itself upon Mercia. “Clever, yes, but how repellent, Mercia thought, the endless repetition, not only the biological imperative to reproduce, but the need to return to origins…. Did they remember the reverse journey, the carefree, dizzying tumble downstream through the rapids?”

This is no casual question for Mercia, given her own ambivalent engagement in the hard work of remembering. Though born and raised in rural South Africa under apartheid, she has lived ...

An exemplary homecoming: Mercia and her partner Craig venture to a river to watch salmon fight their way upstream after a summer at sea. The regularity of this cycle—birth, exile, return, year after year, generation after ...

Photos of the Day: What women writers are sick of hearing

This past weekend was the annual AWP conference–the largest literary conference in North America. Buzzfeed asked 19 women writers at the event what they are tired of hearing about their work. Check out the rest of the images here.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

This past weekend was the annual AWP conference–the largest literary conference in North America. Buzzfeed asked 19 women writers at the event what they are tired of hearing about their work. Check out the ...

What do the numbers say? VIDA’s annual count of the gender gap in publishing

In 2011, one of my classmates from Sarah Lawrence penned an open letter to The New Yorker, blasting them for their then abysmal record of publishing women’s voices. She shared her letter on our closed email listserv and received curious pushback from some of my male classmates. When I say curious pushback, it was more like: “it’s really hard to get published…” or “there are bigger concerns like the economy tanking…” or “the prison industrial complex is growing more powerful by the day…” or “what about black on black crime” (I kid on that last one, but not really). Which is to say: why should we spend our energy caring about something as frivolous as publishing an equal ...

In 2011, one of my classmates from Sarah Lawrence penned an open letter to The New Yorker, blasting them for their then abysmal record of publishing women’s voices. She shared her letter on our closed ...

Redefining Realness

The Feministing Five: Janet Mock

Sorry we’re not sorry for gushing over our newest celebrity/brilliant/fierce/stunning crush — the one and only Janet Mock. In case you have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, Janet Mock is the author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, an activist for the trans community, and all around all-star. Prior to publishing Redefining Realness this past winter, she started #GirlsLikeUs, a program that encourages trans women to live visibly.

We’ve long been big fans of Janet Mock, her writing, and her tendency to speak truth to power here at Feministing. So we were so thrilled to catch her on Valentine’s Day ...

Sorry we’re not sorry for gushing over our newest celebrity/brilliant/fierce/stunning crush — the one and only Janet Mock. In case you have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, Janet Mock is ...

More than half of this year’s National Book Critics Circle finalists are women

This morning, the National Book Critics Circle named the finalists for their annual awards for excellence in six literary categories (autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) for the publishing year of 2013. This year’s list includes a healthy gender balance. Twenty women are finalists, and Katherine A. Powers was named the winner for the excellence in reviewing award.

If you recall, the organization VIDA tracks the magazine and publishing industries’ effort (or lack thereof) in representing women reviewers and writers. It remains to be seen how 2013 year will shake out for women writers until VIDA’s annual report is released in the coming weeks. However, national literary awards like NBCC are critical in acknowledging the value ...

This morning, the National Book Critics Circle named the finalists for their annual awards for excellence in six literary categories (autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) for the publishing year of 2013. This ...

Load More