Posts Tagged Books

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 ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing

At conferences, colloquia, open meetings, we’ve seen them: older, intent, perhaps a bit disappointed, perhaps exhausted from years of movement work of which we are not aware because we do not ask, but often eager, often a bit giddy, it seems, to be there, as if granted unexpected permission.  These, our feminist forebears, perhaps even expressing their gratitude for the intergenerational dialog that’s happened this evening—hear the implied finally. Or maybe they have been our teachers, our editors, or even (lucky us) our employers; too rarely are they our peers, our collaborators, our friends.

Wherever we meet them, as young feminists we don’t often do a good enough job of thanking them, of appreciating their work openly and earnestly without ...

At conferences, colloquia, open meetings, we’ve seen them: older, intent, perhaps a bit disappointed, perhaps exhausted from years of movement work of which we are not aware because we do not ask, but often eager, often ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

Do Muslim women need saving? Lila Abu-Lughod’s question challenges what has become, in her words, the “new common sense”: a “moral mainstreaming of global women’s rights” that urges Westerners to intervene on behalf of faraway women held hostage by “backwards” religious beliefs. As feminists, we might see reason to celebrate a global, energized focus on gender. But Abu-Lughod argues persuasively that we have to approach these appeals with caution. Her analysis upsets not only wrong-headed ideas about the “Muslim women” we seek to save, but also fantasies of freedom and consent that form the basis of Western feminism.

Do Muslim women need saving? Lila Abu-Lughod’s question challenges what has become, in her words, the “new common sense”: a “moral mainstreaming of global women’s rights” that urges Westerners to intervene on behalf of faraway women ...

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 ...

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