Posts Tagged Books

The cover of "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie"

Quick Hit: Guernica interviews Ayana Mathis

Guernica has just published a great interview with Ayana Mathis, who has just published her first novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, to great popular and critical success. The whole transcript is worth the read, but my favorite parts were Mathis’s descriptions of writing minority characters without burdening them with representation. She explains:

My book has a pre–civil rights setting with a post–civil rights sensibility. I believe less and less that there is something called “The Black Experience,” though undoubtedly there was one once. In the book I have a character called Lawrence say that he doesn’t want Hattie to be just another downtrodden black woman, and I think what he’s getting at with that statement is the ...

Guernica has just published a great interview with Ayana Mathis, who has just published her first novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, to great popular and critical success. The whole transcript is worth the ...

Coverflip challenge reimagines famous dude book covers as by and for women

Yesterday author Maureen Johnson, fed up with sexist responses to the perceived gender appeal of her books covers, issued a challenge to her followers. She writes:

You are informed about a book’s perceived quality through a number of ways. Probably the biggest is the cover….

And the simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely ...

Yesterday author Maureen Johnson, fed up with sexist responses to the perceived gender appeal of her books covers, issued a challenge to her followers. She writes:

You are informed about a book’s perceived quality through ...

Louise Erdrich becomes first American Indian woman to win National Book Award

Erdrich’s book, The Round House, is about violence against American Indian women, and about one young man who confronts that violence when it finds its way into his home.

According to CBS News,

A clearly delighted and surprised Erdrich, who’s part Ojibwe, spoke in her tribal tongue and then switched to English as she dedicated her fiction award to “the grace and endurance of native women.”

Only fifteen or so women have won the adult fiction prize since 1952, and Erdrich is the first American Indian woman to ever win it. “This is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations,” she said. “Thank you for giving it a wider audience.”

When the short list was ...

Erdrich’s book, The Round House, is about violence against American Indian women, and about one young man who confronts that violence when it finds its way into his home.

According to CBS News,

A clearly ...

When I think of “Home”. Or reasons to watch “Homeland”.

 

Writers don’t write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy. – Nikki Giovanni

You Guys: I have SO much TV to catch up on. The above epigraph may seem incongruous, but to deny that popular art, and in this case TV dramas are reflections of our collective lives is just dishonest. As a creative writer, I know this. I know that I need a metaspace to organize a set of experiences, memory to mete out what makes sense. There is a great deal of empathy in the life and work of artists. I ...

 

Writers don’t write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: How Should a Person Be?

I generally make it a policy to read any book that people say is being misunderstood by smart, serious men, so Sheila Heti’s much-discussed How Should a Person Be? has been on my list for a while.

The book, which is described as “a novel from life” and is based on recorded conversations and emails between Heti and her actual friends, is about a character named Sheila leaving her marriage, having some intense sex, trying to finish a play commissioned by a feminist theater, and searching relentlessly trying to answer the most lofty of philosophical questions: “How should a person be?”

Above all, though, it’s about Sheila becoming friends with Margaux, an artist who, like Sheila, had “never had ...

I generally make it a policy to read any book that people say is being misunderstood by smart, serious men, so Sheila Heti’s much-discussed How Should a Person Be? has been on my list for ...

Vagina, by any other name.

When you opt to chronicle the cultural and scientific life of the vagina, surely, your finger is on the zeitgeist. Naomi Wolf’s new book, Vagina: A New Biography,  released today has already introduced us to some interesting reviews.

Here’s Zoe Heller’s take:

… Wolf’s belief that the vagina is integral to a woman’s sense of “core self” is predicated not just on the mystical experiences that the vagina “mediates” during orgasms, but on the continuing, salutary effects that orgasms have on the rest of a woman’s life. Wolf claims to find strong evidence in the biographies of women writers and artists (Georgia O”Keefe, Emma Goldman, Edith Wharton) that women often “create best after a sexual awakening or a ...

When you opt to chronicle the cultural and scientific life of the vagina, surely, your finger is on the zeitgeist. Naomi Wolf’s new book, Vagina: A New Biography,  released today has already introduced us to ...

Quick hit: Liza Mundy on Colbert

Last night, Liza Mundy, author of The Richer Sex, was the guest on The Colbert Report. Mundy’s book is really important, and if you haven’t already read it, I suggest you go borrow it from your local library this weekend. It’s a look at how the economy changes at both a macro and a micro level when women become breadwinners. How do our ideas about gender change when “man” and “provider” are no longer synonymous? How do our experiences of sex change when our definitions of masculinity and femininity shift? These are crucial questions, for feminism and for society at large.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Liza Mundy

Last night, Liza Mundy, author of The Richer Sex, was the guest on The Colbert Report. Mundy’s book is really important, and if you haven’t already read it, I suggest you go borrow it from your local ...

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Essayist and filmmaker Nora Ephron has died.

Nora Ephron was a giant. Ephron wrote the screenplay for “Silkwood”, best known as the writer of the seminal romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” and wrote and directed the wildly successful (and still one of my favorites) “You’ve Got Mail”. If you haven’t seen “Silkwood”, please seek to remedy that fact immediately.

But I leave you with Ephron’s commencement address to the Wellesley Class of 1996:

Don’t let the number of women in the work force trick you — there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we ...

Essayist and filmmaker Nora Ephron has died.

Nora Ephron was a giant. Ephron wrote the screenplay for “Silkwood”, best known as the writer of the seminal romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” and wrote and directed ...

Load More