Posts Tagged Not Oprah’s Book Club

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals

I first came across Patricia Lockwood’s second book of poetry, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, through this week’s internet buzz. The buzz is everywhere: a New York Times Magazine profile, condescending New Yorker and square Slate reviews, and an article in The Toast on the unsubtle heterosexism of said all male-authored reviews. Even after reading the book twice in private, it was difficult to experience her work separate from its online reception.

Perhaps this is fitting. Lockwood is arguably most well-known for her poem “Rape Joke,” which traveled meme-like across the web last year like no poem ever has, and anticipated its own hype: “The rape joke is if you write a poem called ...

I first came across Patricia Lockwood’s second book of poetry, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, through this week’s internet buzz. The buzz is everywhere: a New York Times Magazine profile, condescending New ...

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 ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year

Julie Zeilinger’s College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year is the book I wish I read four years ago when I started college. The guide advises incoming freshman on how to navigate the confusing new experiences that come with being a freshman and a woman in college — namely, the ways in which tricky roommates, demanding academics, rising debt, insufficient mental health resources, and unfamiliar social pressures interact and intersect with sexism. But even as a soon-to-be-graduate entering the Adult World, the guide gave me tips I wish I had known three months ago, when I entered the second semester of my senior year. It also kindly reminded me, in a chatty voice, of the many lessons ...

Julie Zeilinger’s College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year is the book I wish I read four years ago when I started college. The guide advises incoming freshman on how to navigate the confusing ...

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 ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Sex Itself

Although gender expression has flourished in the wake of feminist, queer, and trans interventions, our society as a whole still claims the primacy of “biological sex.” From the fetishization of trans peoples’ genitals and tales of “transition” (Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox took down Katie Couric on this point), to constant mis-gendering in mainstream media (as with the treatment of Janet Mock and Chelsea Manning), the policing of trans individuals makes evident a continuing reliance on “biological sex” as the ultimate determinant of identity.

In Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome (University of Chicago Press, $45), Sarah S. Richardson examines the biological grounding of sex at its apparent ...

Although gender expression has flourished in the wake of feminist, queer, and trans interventions, our society as a whole still claims the primacy of “biological sex.” From the fetishization of trans peoples’ genitals and tales of ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Redefining Realness

Janet Mock’s new book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More comes out today. Here’s the short version of my review: go buy it and read it now.

Janet Mock’s writing is compelling, familiar, and even conversational, which makes the complex work she is doing in this book seem easy. Redefining Realness is a number of things: it is primarily Mock’s personal story. But it is also a subversion of the trans memoir, a by now ubiquitous form, as Mock claims her own life and refuses to let familiar beats fall into familiar tropes. It presents a different story from those of class-privileged white trans folks whose memoirs are usually the ones to ...

Janet Mock’s new book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More comes out today. Here’s the short version of my review: go buy it and read it now.

Janet Mock’s ...

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 ...

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