Books Recently Reviewed in the Feminist Press

This is our chance to share with you book reviews that have caught our eye in magazines like Ms., Curve, Herizons, Make/Shift, VenusZine, Lilith, Bust, and Bitch. And don't forget--you can pick up the latest issues of all of these great magazines at the store!

$32.50
ISBN-13: 9781584798330
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 3/2011

Reviewed in Curve magazine, May 2011

". . . The L Life is a lovely book, with interesting essays bursting with quotes by the featured women. With so few opportunities to give voice to members of the lesbian community in such a significant format, the book will have lasting import. Add the exquisite images by photographer May, and it's more than a winning package that should be on your radar for upcoming gift giving opportunities such as Gay Pride and the holidays."



ISBN-13: 9780520266766
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: University of California Press, 3/2011

Reviewed in Ms. mag, Spring 2011

"Though women have had varying degrees of influence in many societies, no society has ever been found in which women have held political and legal power and men have not. In her new book, Gentlemen and Amazons, she traces the fictitious belief from its origins in Greek myth about Amazon warriors through the speculations of 19th-century historians and anthropologists, and the lasting effect of those speculations. . . . Not surprisingly, the idea that universal matriarchy existed remains a powerful theme in popular culture and neo-pagan religion, as well as in some leftist and feminist circles. Perhaps imagining that women once ruled over men helps defend against the fear that the opposite will always be true. As Eller notes, 'Feminists have found in matriarchal myth license to hope that just as male dominance had a beginning in ancient times, it can have an end too.'"


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780738213996
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Da Capo Press, 3/2011

Reviewed in Ms. mag, Spring 2011

". . . Not since 1962, when [Rachel] Carson courageously challenged the chemical industry in Silent Spring, has a scientist woven so much revelation and research together with such gorgeous and persuasive prose. In Raising Elijah, Steingraber makes a case for 'outspoken, full-throated heroism in the face of the great moral crisis of our day.' . . . Steingraber's narrative is personal and political, funny and smart. She shows us the feminism and motherhood are not at odds; combined, they make for heroes."


If Sons, Then Heirs (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9781451610222
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Atria Books, 5/2011

Reviewed in Ms. mag, Spring 2011

"Lorene Cary doesn't shy away from telling complicated stories about race in the United States. . . . she distill[s] taboo topics into moving and accessible works of literature. She does it again with her latest novel. In If Sons, Then Heirs, Cary examines race and racism through the prism of land ownership in the South. We learn how three generations of an African American family are affected by property purchased by the family patriarch, the aptly named King Needham, and how holding on to that land through some of the most violent and racially charged periods of American history brings them a fair share of power, privilege and pain. . . . The novel is epic in scope . . . with a heavy nod toward the injustice of property laws that could ignore a woman's stewardship of the land, her decades-long struggle to pay taxes. 'Nobody helped her cut the wheat or grind the flour or bake the bread,' Rayne says of Selma, who carried the burden of the family's inheritance alone, or nearly so, for more than half a century."



ISBN-13: 9780231149594
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Columbia University Press, 3/2010

Reviewed in Curve magazine, May 2011

"While note exactly light reading, the first book by rising lesbian academic Gayle Salamon—currently as assistant professor at Princeton University—tackles an amazing variety of topics regarding contemporary theories of the body, including phenomenology, psychology, feminist, queer, and trans-inclusive theories, and critique of gender, sexual difference and social constructions. . . . Salamon [theorizes] that gender is 'always already theorized. When a distinction is made between the theorizing and the performance of gender expression, we might do well to ask who or what such distinction serves.' Because Salamon is a theorist, Assuming a Body may not be accessible for all readers. But for those who enjoy a challenge, this book rewards with its timely, thought-provoking examination of the body, and the intersection of transgender psychology and critical theory."


$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781573444255
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Cleis Press, 12/2010

Reviewed in Curve magazine, May 2011

"Lea DeLaria, the woman behind the selection of stories in Best Lesbian Erotica 2011, seems to approach this collection with two things in mind: Don't take sex too seriously and make sure everyone's titilated. . . . DeLaria has taken her keen eye and turned it on our bedrooms, selecting erotica that is sexy, well-crafted and diverse. What one expects in a 'Best Of' collection, above all, is inclusivity. It is here that this collection succeeds. . . . This is a solid collection from one of our favorite queer publishing houses [Cleis Press], and a must for your erotic shelf."


$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780765320452
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Forge Books, 6/2010

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

"In this action-packed mystery novel capturing the terror of Nazi rule in 1930s Germany, journalist Hannah Vogel finds herself in dire straits, to say the least. When the novel (the second in a series) opens, Vogel has been on the run after having kidnapped her adopted son from Nazi Ernst Rohm, who claims to be the boy's father. While Hannah and the kid, Anton, are traveling from South America to Switzerland, Rohm's cronies intercept their zeppelin and kidnap and separate them. Luckily for Hannah, the kidnapping takes place right before the Night of Long Knives—when Hitler orders a mass political execution, including of Rohm. Hannah escapes but must now find Anton.

Cantrell knows suspense, and in Hannah Vogel she has created a compelling character. The first-person narration draws you right into the action, and pairing that with graphic, visceral descriptions makes this book a hard one to put down. Hannah's voice flits between that of reporter—indifferent and cold while stating horrifying facts—and that of a woman surging with empathy, even for her enemies. Through it all, you can feel her intense, unrelenting fear and dread. Beyond Hannah's closest confidants, the characters are flat, sterile. But instead of taking away from the novel, this seems fitting, emphasizing the chilling dehumanization of the Third Reich."


$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780061778827
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Harper, 6/2010

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

". . . Andrews, a successful political journalist, explores the difficulties of trying to attain success, both professional and personal. As the beneficiaries of the feminist movement and the black civil-rights movement, Andrews and her friends find themselves in a position their mothers and grandmothers had not deemed possible—financially independent, well educated, and professionally successful—but the men have not kept up. In her opening essay, Andrews details a mind-gamey instant messaging session with an on-and-off boyfriend, which leads her into a compelling analysis, replete with country-wide stats, on the complications of looking for a husband. 'While our women were snatching up college degrees and busting glass ceilings, our men were getting snatched up and busted,' she writes. Although the story of the professional single girl has been written before, Andrews' combination of personal anecdote and analysis of success and race makes her tales unique. And at the same time, her exploration of gender in America is one surely any woman can relate to."


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780385523394
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Spiegel & Grau, 2/2011

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

"Piper Kerman, a Smith-educated, self-described boho, WASPy ex-lesbian, got mixed up with the wrong crowd after college. Enthralled by the flashy lifestyle of her then-girlfriend, Kerman took transatlantic flights to deliver large sums of cash for an African drug lord. Her criminal career didn't last long, and she quickly turned her life around.

Years later, Kerman was relaxing in her pajamas in the West Village apartment she shared with her boyfriend when she heard her buzzer ring. It was the police—her past had finally caught up with her, and she ended up serving more than a year in a federal penitentiary for a crime she'd committed a decade earlier.

Orange Is the New Black offers a fascinating glimpse inside the walls of a women's prison. The most interesting—and touching—part of the book concerns the bonds Kerman formed in prison with women she never would have met on the outside, let alone befriended. These include 'Spanish mamis,' 'Eminemlettes,' a post-op transsexual, and tough Brooklyn Italians. After seeing first-hand how drug addiction ravaged the lives of so many of her fellow inmates and their families, the seriousness of her crimes hits Kerman hard. But it is difficult to argue with her stance that the lessons she learned would have come through just as clearly—and the community would have been better served—if she had instead been sentenced to a long stint of community service, working with addicts."


$23.99
ISBN-13: 9780316035606
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 5/2010

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

"If, as Andy Warhol said, 'buying is much more American than thinking,' them fashion journalist Avis Cardella is one of the most American women you'll ever meet. Her memoir Spent chronicles the escalation of her shopping addiction (oniomania, in clinical parlance) from shoplifting Lip Smackers in a Staten Island strip mall as a middle-schooler in the 1970s to five-figure binges at Barneys and Bergdorf's 20 years later. . . . Cardella succeeds overall with her riveting exploration of what happens when a woman gets everything she's ever wanted, only to find it's never enough. 'How can a woman with a closet so full feel so empty inside?' she asks herself. If the 'irrational exuberance' of the 1990s, in which the bulk of the book takes place, seems now as dated as fears of Y2K, Cardella's message is, of course, current: beware the toxic combination of rampant materialism and credit granted promiscuously. Spent powerfully underscores a lesson we've all come to painfully understand—the lure of 'more' can be a pretty potent drug."


$23.95
ISBN-13: 9780393061406
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 7/2010

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

"Mary Murphy grows up in a small town in the midst of an economic downturn as the daughter of a reluctant young mother who was impregnated by her alcoholic boyfriend on prom night. . . . Mary is surrounded by family member grappling with the demons of substance abuse and big dreams coupled with little initiative. . . . Mary sharply observes all those surrounding her and eventually breaks the cycle. Hodgen's novel takes the form of a series of five elegies narrated by Mary, which together tell the story of her childhood and young adulthood. That such a young woman would have so many occasions for which to write an elegy, that that the story of her life can be told as a series of deaths, testifies to the fact that Mary has grown up with endemic struggle and sadness. And yet, the elegies are not s much laments dedicated to the dead as linked short stories that often ignore their supposed subject, the elegized, for pages, to focus on Mary's story. Despite that, Hodgen, who peppers the narrative with a hearty dose of believable kitsch and quirk, creates a rich sense of atmosphere—a shared feeling among all her characters of a certain desperation, an anticipatory nostalgia for a future that never arrives—that gives the book an internal cohesion and makes for a satisfying, if somewhat melancholy, read."


$19.99
ISBN-13: 9780061774157
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 7/2010

Reviewed in Bust, Aug/Sept 2010

"There's always been sex in Hollywood, announces author Sam Wasson, 'but before Breakfast at Tiffany's, only the bad girls were having it.' Adapted from Truman Capote's novel, the Oscar-winning 1961 movie starring Audrey Hepburn as an independent girl about town made being a single woman look fantastic. (Also, the little black Givenchy dresses didn't hurt.) And in line with the best, engaging contemporary nonfiction, Wasson's account of the making of this film reads like fiction. Structured chronologically, the story begins with Capote's relationship with his mother, whose long absences provided early, sideways inspiration for Holly Golightly. It's a wonder the filmmakers succeeded in transforming Capote's sex-filled tale—complete with a gay best friend and an unhappy ending—into a movie that sings. Wasson weaves together the many limbs of filmmaking, from the beleaguered screenwriter, triumphant producers, composer, and lyricist to the then-little-known director Blake Edwards, who happens to be the subject of Wasson's first book, A Splurch in the Kisser. There's great drama, tension, and conflict in all these arenas, as well as in the on- and off-screen presence of the film's gamine star. Hepburn highlights include how she was discovered, vignettes from her fraught marriage, and her dogged pursuit of motherhood. Wasson's studied, fast-moving tale only gets better as the reader invests in his characters, understanding exactly how, why, and at what cost they devoted their energies to bringing this project to life."


The Love Children (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781558616066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 9/2009

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

The Love Children is the story of children born to a generation that defied its government, fought against the Vietnam War, struggled for women’s rights, experimented with psychedelic drugs, had a taste of free love, lived in communes and started the organic food movement. . . .

Jessamin is the narrative voice that sustains the novel. We meet her when she is an unhappy 14-year-old and we say goodbye to her when she is a reasonably happy woman in her early 50s. Her matter-of-fact voice, expressing the concerns of her peers, sometimes merges with that of her mother Andrea, a Harvard professor who manages to leave her abusive husband and build the career and personal life that she yearned for. . . .

The tone of the novel is free from the anger that I recall in some of Marilyn French’s earlier work. It calls to mind Beyond Power, her non-fiction analysis of the links between patriarchy and violence. In fact, it could be considered its fictional counterpart. . . .”


$17.00
ISBN-13: 9780143117957
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 10/2010

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

“. . . Smith clinched me with her essay on voice. In that essay, ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ she writes clear-heartedly on why people who have many locations that form them (and many other locations they choose) and are not mono-voiced, even if they have to be, at times, to enter particular discourses. Smith, the precocious British novelist, is herself multiply located.

She follows what she sees as the Henry James dictum—that you have to write and therefore experience as many nuances as possible, so that you and your reader are given the option of being ‘richly responsible.’ Richly responsible is not some dusty sense of duty, but is instead the reason for being, and for being simultaneously complicated and simple creatures in complex but clarified times. Smith also writes reassuringly of people who have to criss-cross borders almost constantly, including herself, U.S. President Barack Obama and Shakespeare.

Smith writes touchingly about her discovery of author Zora Neale Hurston and about how she refused to read her books at age 14, fearful that she would be tagged ‘Black and female,’ only later to realize that Hurston is simply a great writer, not Black and female—although that she is.

The rest of the essays, and there are 17 altogether, range from literary classics to screen icons Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo. In her essay on literary philosophers Vladimir Nabokov and Roland Barthes, Smith makes points that writers and readers will like: Nabokov basically says the writer is his or her own ideal reader—to read a writer well, one needs to read like they do. Barthes says the reader is supreme once the text is already published. Fundamentally, you can’t do without both locales or reading positions.

Best of all, Smith says that reading well is as much of an achievement as writing is.”


$22.95
ISBN-13: 9780980882261
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Inanna Publications & Education, 5/2009

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

“In her first collection of short stories, Truth and Other Fictions, Eva Tihanyi employs the powerful word choice of a poet, the careful attention to detail of a researcher and academic and the precise eye of a photographer.

And for good reason: Tihanyi’s remarkable resume includes all of those pursuits. She is an accomplished poet with five books to her name, as well as a freelance journalist, a professor and a photographer who has exhibited her work throughout North America. . . .

The 13 stories in this collection span time, place and subject matter. They’re dotted with historic figures of 20th-century art, music and science as often as they represent the lives of everyday women. But they share common themes: art-making, the search for truth and meaning, complex relationships—strong threads that create a cohesive whole, just as Tihanyi has built with her own artistic practice.”


Animal (Paperback)


ISBN-13: 9781897535011
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Anvil Press, 5/2009

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

“My favourite Alexandra Leggat story doesn’t appear in this collection, though it, too, is about an animal of sorts. In 'Impala,' from her second collection Meet Me in the Parking Lot, a man ostensibly mourns a car, and the last sentence spins the whole meaning of the story on a dime. In her aptly titled third collection, she displays that same skill with plot, although here the animals are mostly sinew and bone. . . .

Leggat’s prose style tends to be elliptical and clipped. In the last story, which seems intentionally cheerful and assured, the language often has a somber tone: ‘The doctor writes in his notebook. I don’t even care what he’s writing. I’m not the insecure one. I look out the window at the half-lit sky. Rain spits against the window.’

Most short story collections are up and down. Unlike most, however, Animal is more than the sum of its parts. Without linking any of the stories through character, or place, or plot, Leggat is able to build upon and echo them through one another.”


$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781580052955
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Seal Press, 9/2009

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

“Despite the sexiness of the title, Laid: Young People’s Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture reminds us that teenage sex isn’t that sexy. And despite the open culture of today’s youth, with the trademarks of Facebook and twitter, easy access hasn’t made sex any better.

Editor Shannon T. Boodram has collected confessionals, poems and short fictional pieces from a range of young adults representing the landscape of teenage sex. The writing is from young people across North America and includes an ethnic diversity as well as a gender mix.

The landscape Laid depicts is divided into five chapters that range from hookups gone bad to no sex at all. Thrown into the mix is a sample of good sexual experiences, nights where sex came with infection or disease, and sex that was not consensual. As a collection of writing, Laid presents honest and interesting prose that shows how teenagers encounter sex. It is, on the whole, not a sexy picture.

That is undoubtedly the underlying message of the collection. Boodram started her journalistic career as a sex educator who went on to create a seven-part sex-ed podcast. She stresses the need for information, for making smart decisions, and for waiting until the situation feels right. And, true to teenage years, few of the scenarios in Laid reflect good sexual situations. The truthfulness and immediacy of the writing is undoubtedly valuable to both adults and young people. . . .”


$19.95
ISBN-13: 9780889843134
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Porcupine's Quill, 10/2009

Reviewed in Herizons, Summer 2010, vol. 24, no. 1

“It is exciting to be able to add Back and Forth to the catalogue of contemporary women’s stories being told through pictures. . . . Chudolinska’s wordless graphic novel depicts a sensual picture of a young woman travelling in her mind between two periods of life, experienced in two visually distinct Canadian locations—Vancouver and Toronto. The story is told in 90 linocuts that use naturescapes and cityscapes to induce a primarily emotional narrative.

The protagonist moves back and forth through dimensions. In one, she wanders the naturally lush city of Vancouver in solitude. In a second realm, which takes place in a Toronto consciousness, Chudolinska depicts a relationship with a male romantic partner who becomes abusive. This psychological territory is marked by iconic city views that seem to jump into the characters’ sightlines, asking readers to feel the story through the landscape instead of the plot.

Chudolinska is one of the few female storytellers to experiment with the wordless graphic novel form. . . .”



ISBN-13: 9780393068382
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 8/2010

Reviewed in Ms., Summer 2010, Great Reads for Summer 2010

"Fine debunks the myth that men's and women's brains are hardwired differently (i.e., men are 'strategizers'; women, 'empathizers'). She exposes old-fashioned sexism masquerading as science and argues that the human brain is shaped by society."


Great House (Hardcover)

$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393079982
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2010

Reviewed in Ms., Summer 2010, Great Reads for Summer 2010

"The author of the bestselling The History of Love tracks the ownership of a mysterious desk. Passing through the possession of writers and thinkers haunted variously by Pinochet's regime and the legacy of World War II, the desk survives even as its owners struggle to reconcile the present with past trauma."


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780807000472
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Beacon Press, 9/2010

Reviewed in Ms., Summer 2010, Great Reads for Summer 2010

"Where do we begin to 'save the world'? Anywhere, answers Martin, who profiles eight activists under 35, including a feminist filmmaker, an advocate for sexually abused soldiers and an environmentalist concerned with the racial politics of pollution."


$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781556529764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Chicago Review Press, 7/2010

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

"Karen Carpenter saw herself first and foremost as a drummer. The discovery of her haunting voice was considered more of an 'accident' by her family who believed their son Richard to be the musical genius. It was Richard, not Karen, that inspired the clan to move from New Haven, Connecticut to California in 1963, where the two would gradually find success as a duo. In Little Girl Blue, Schmidt traces the life of the radiant young singer, recounting both her rise to fame and perfectionist tendencies. It's the first biography the Carpenter family didn't edit—and the author illustrates Karen's warmth, sensitivity, and sadly, her untimely and tragic death from anorexia nervosa."


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781594485190
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Trade, 5/2011

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

"If short essays are more your speed, check our Crosley's second book, How Did You Get This Number. As with her first collection, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, she fills the book with astute, witty, and often outrageous vignettes taken from her life. (Some have aptly likened Crosely to David Sedaris, our generation's favorite sarcastic first-person essayist.) These stories find the author, who works as a publicist at Random House, in a number of unusual misadventures all over the world. She sheds a kleptomaniac roommate in Manhattan, befriends an amateur circus clown in Lisbon, Portugal, and somehow manages to get herself forcibly removed from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The common thread holding Crosley's work together is her die-hard city dweller sensibility. She is first and foremost a New Yorker, even when she finds herself in decidedly uncosmopolitan circumstances. Overall, the book is episodic, but Crosley's consistently sharp sense of humor will keep you reading."

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9780307477477
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Anchor, 5/2011

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

". . . The writer portrays a wide array of characters who are beaten up, in one way or another. The book is grounded in the interwoven stories of Bennie, a former punk rocker, and his assistant Sasha. Egan describes their histories before their paths cross and their futures, spanning the globe from Africa to New York. It's about the wilds of human connection and coincidences, and how two random people meet and change each other's lives irrevocably in big and small ways. . . ."


The Lovers (Hardcover)

$23.99
ISBN-13: 9780060828394
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Ecco, 7/2010

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

"Many know Vida as Dave Eggers' wife (the two co-wrote the film Away We Go), but she's also a brilliant and engaging novelist. Case in point: The Lovers. Like Vida's first two books (And Now You Can Go, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name), the novel is told through a relatable and riveting female protagonist. Here, we follow the introspective Yvonne, a recent widow struggling to overcome heartbreak, on a visit to Turkey, where she spent her honeymoon. If Vida's beautiful prose stirs up tears, they're well earned. Keep the Kleenex nearby."


Every Last One (Paperback)

$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780812976885
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 4/2011

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

"Anna Quindlen's latest novel paints a bucolic picture of modern domestic life, told through the eyes of a mother burdened by drama. The story's first half beautifully describes characters whose quirks seem foreboding only in hindsight: the besotted high school boyfriend; the recovering anorexic; and the troubled twin who fades into the shadow of his star athlete brother. A revelation near the middle turns the family on its head—and will wrench your heart."


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780385720960
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Anchor, 4/2011

Reviewed in VenusZine, Summer 2010

"If you're looking for a thoughtful and eloquent summer companion, you could do worse than Rose Edelstein, the nine-year-old protagonist of Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Seasoned storyteller Bender develops a striking premise: Rose can taste chefs' emotions through their foods, starting with her mother's lemon-chocolate cake. Rise's cheerful and loving mom, it turns out, is deeply unsatisfied with her life. The tale examines what people reveal and what they hide, showing us what might happen if we knew the most closely guarded secrets of strangers and loved ones. Like her story collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Lemon Cake showcases Bender's easy and beautiful use of language, and ability to give her characters charming, distinctive voices."

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780312429546
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picador, 4/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"Nothing happens in Molly Fox's Birthday. The plot is entirely uneventful, charting a day in the life of the narrator, a celebrated playwright, who is staying in Dublin at the home of her best friend, the Molly Fox of the title. The narrator wanders around the house, eats meals, takes a walk in town, and is visited by three unexpected, but by no means shocking, guests. It is the very lack of excitement that gives the narrator the time to reflect, and those reflections are the real stuff and substance of the book. Her two main preoccupations are her relationships, with Molly and Andrew, her other closest friend, and her work. She is beginning a new play and turning over in her mind all her thoughts about art and nature, the need for the theater, the danger and value of theater's two-faced quality of dissembling and truth. A certain graceful restraint permeates the short work, including its modest length. Though this is a novel of ideas, it does not expound, but collects small anecdotes and observations that elucidate the issue, often providing more questions than answers, and is content with its own ambiguity. Molly Fox's Birthday, which was a finalist for the Orange Prize last year and is being newly reissued by Picador in the U.S., is an invitation to contemplation. Madden's sympathetic characters have a complexity that gives them real weight and pathos, so that their ideas about he relationship between art and life, between artifice and nature, are engrossing enough to sustain vivid interest even in the utter absence of plot."


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781439157329
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 2/2011

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"This deeply personal story of feminist activist and political leader Ayaan Hirsi Ali is part family history and part thesis on the impact of Islam on women. The result is a must-read memoir more enlightening than many books assigned in liberal-arts classes. A follow-up to her influential bestseller Infidel, this is the story of a family ruined by adherence to the Qur'an in a literal sense. Born in Somalia and erratically transplanted around Africa, Ali is forced to flee every place she settles. Growing up, the only constant in her life is her family's uncompromising attachment to Islam; with only blind faith as a guide, each of Ali's family members' conflicted views toward sexuality, money, and violence lead to suffering, from mental illness to murder. When her father arranges her marriage, Ali decides to escape and seek political asylum in the Netherlands. There, she becomes a member of Parliament—until a political crisis leads to the stripping of her citizenship. The she again seeks refuge, this time in the United States. Nomad explains why she chose America and how she successfully adapted in ways the rest of her family could not. Every culture has dysfunctional families, but Ali illustrates why Islam's 'culture of shame' is a true threat. Thankfully, she offers remedies to the situation. Ultimately, her inspiring journey becomes a call to action for Western feminists to share in her courage and clarity and reach out to their Islamic sisters."


$23.95
ISBN-13: 9780393068344
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 5/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"Paralyzed with fear after an abusive relationship and nearly 30 with no accomplishments, artist Belle Yang feels like a failure. She moves back home to practice calligraphy and recoup, but she finds it hard to identify with her immigrant parents' traditional ways. Her father is prone to a bad temper and blames his daughter for the way her life has turned out; likewise, Yang feels suffocated by her father's high expectations. Seeking a distraction, she begins to ask questions about her father's family in Manchuria, and soon finds herself writing and illustrating his stories. Yang's father's tale begins with his father and his father's three brothers, four men born into a prosperous family whose closeness becomes threatened by war, famine, and Communist oppression during World War II. . . . the ancestral tale portion of the book develops into a fascinating read in the vein of Persepolis. Charmingly illustrated with black-and-white ink drawings, this graphic memoir explores a tumultuous time in China's recent history."


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781439142745
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Gallery Books, 2/2011

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"Samantha Bee could be the love child of David Sedaris and Chelsea Handler, if such a thing were possible (which it's totally not). And in her memoir, Bee, who is currently the Most Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, does not disappoint. . . . the book delves deeper, becoming funnier—and way, way dirtier—than your wildest dreams. I Know I Am takes us there, brings us back, and then takes us there a few more times. . . . Her compositions mainly deal with everyday situations, if you consider being witness to accidental penis-flashing, dressing like Sailor Moon for a living, and knowing at age nine what a sex act called the Cincinnati Bowtie is all about to be the norm. There's no turning back for the thrill-seeking reader after something like that, and honestly, who would want to?"


$19.99
ISBN-13: 9781416543282
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Touchstone, 12/2009

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"Yale's first black female history professor, Jennifer Baszile, came of age in the not-quite-integrated suburbs of Southern California. Her account of that era in this riveting, fast-paced memoir is noteworthy for her clear-eyed perspective and honesty; in Baszile, the reader finds an all-cards-on-the-table narrator to root for as she navigates the ins and outs of growing up in an affluent, white enclave in the late 1970s and early '80s. Her mother and father, from Detroit and rural Louisiana, respectively, relocated to Palos Verdes as a means to give their two daughters—the only blacks at their school—a first-rate education. And while Baszile does well enough academically, she has a harder time fitting in, either at school dances or in the social setting of the Black Heritage Association, a group her parents co-founded to give their daughters a 'richer sense of black culture and black pride.' In one of her slyly funny asides, Baszile writes that she also suspected they feared she wouldn't date black kids unless they intervened: '[t]hey should have called it the Black Hormone Association.' Her accounts of several overt, aggressive instances of racism are painful but objective. At the heart of Baszile's debut lies her volatile relationship with her father, who, she concludes, maybe 'finally understood that integration had been as hard on me as segregation had been on him.' The family consistently projected an image of perfection, but Baszile's rendering of her upbringing reveals the hidden tension, as well as how she grew to be comfortable and happy in her own skin."


$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780865479791
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Faber & Faber, 2/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

". . . Meltzer begins in Olympia, WA, in the early 1990s, where as a student at Evergreen State College, she witnessed riot grrrl sheroes such as Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile making musical history by empowering young women to pick up guitars, pen 'zines, and deconstruct feminism. Meltzer weaves personal anecdotes together with interviews of key players such as Tobi Vail from Bikini Kill, and then she moves forward, chronicling a sequential legacy of female artists including Madonna, Courtney Love, and Alanis Morisette, eventually landing at Britney Spears and girl-power poster band the Spice Girls. Meltzer argues that although the term 'girl power' has been commodified, its musical roots can be traced back to the riot grrrls and that the true heart of the grrrl movement, female empowerment, is still very much alive and screaming. The fact that Meltzer has been both spectator and participant in her subject matter allows her to offer some very keen observations, and her book is intimately written. If it's a little difficult to believe, music-wise, Kathleen Hanna is the great-great-grandmother of Hannah Montana, Meltzer at least throws down a strong case, and her openness to different forms of feminism should make all sistas take note—and want to dust off their electric guitars."


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780385527149
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau, 5/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"When Hilary Thayer Hamann self-published Anthropology of an American Girl in 2003, she achieved an inordinate amount of success for any novel, let alone a self-published one. Now Random House is publishing a revised version of the visionary work. The story centers on Eveline, an introspective high-school girl in East Hampton at the end of the 1970s, trying to make sense of both her gender and sexuality while finding her artistic voice. Through each of the men she attaches herself to, Eveline's sense of her sexuality changes and deepens. There is Jack, her off-kilter boyfriend who helps her through the trauma of being raped by two of her male classmates; Rourke, her high-school drama teacher turned prize fighter; and the cold and soulless Mark, who attempts to buy her love through constant luxuries and gifts.

The true value of the story lies not in the plot or the characters, which, at face value, may not seem out of the ordinary, but rather in the rich, poetic language that beautifully renders Eveline's every thought and emotion as she makes the transition from girl to woman. Even at over 600 pages, Hamann's words never meander, and she successfully explores the formation and maturation of female sexuality. One cannot help but be moved by Eveline's attempt to turn her body into a means for euphoria and connection rather than abuse and manipulation."


Spooky Little Girl (Paperback)

$14.00
ISBN-13: 9780345510976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Villard, 4/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, June/July 2010

"For Lucy Fisher, when it rains, it pours. After a food poisoning-laced vacation in Hawaii, she returns home to find all of her belongings littered across her front yard, her locks changed, and no way to get in touch with her now-ex-fiance. To top things off, Lucy loses her job, is being accused of embezzlement, and fails two drug tests, despite the fact that 'no one's done cocaine since 1987, except for Fleetwood Mac cover bands.' And just when she decides to start her life anew by moving in with her sister and nephew, she is run over by a bus, and, well, dies.

But that's just the beginning of the story. Ghost Lucy finds herself in ghost school to learn how to haunt in order to complete her unfinished earthly business. A bitingly funny series of ghastly events ensues with fellow ghost-school classmates, such as Mrs. Wootig, a housewife who met her sudden death when her silicone 'appendages' exploded on a ski trip, and Bethany, who, during an Anna Nicole Smith farewell tour in the Bahamas, became shark bait while scuba diving. When Lucy returns to earth for her ghostly mission, she is paired up with her grandmother—who was kicked out of heaven after hitting on Paul Newman—and they team up to haunt Lucy's ex and his new girlfriend.

In Spooky Little Girl, Notaro crafts a wondrously realistic afterlife. In between hilarious antics with phony psychics and messages communicated to the living via steamy mirrors (Ghost reference intended), she is able to make death laughable in a heartfelt way. Notaro, who had us at The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club and We Thought You'd Be Prettier, has put out a comedic killer yet again."



ISBN-13: 9780814758533
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: New York University Press, 5/2010

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

"Parenting Out of Control is the perfect antidote to all those hyperbolic articles about overbearing, overprotective moms who hover, helicopter, and micromanage, grounded as it is in actual social-science research, nuanced analysis, and an eagerness to look beyond clichés. Author Margaret Nelson . . . interviewed some 93 families with teenage children across the United States, from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, about their parenting practices and attitudes toward new technologies of surveillance. The result is a fascinating and sometimes surprising portrait of modern parenting.

Nelson divides her interview subjects into two rough socioeconomic groups that, it turns out, also correspond with two distinct parenting approaches. In a nutshell, professional middle- and upper-middle-class parents 'define the job of parenting in a particular way that demands engagement of themselves'; their parenting is, Nelson argues, 'out of control' in the sense of both being over-the-top and enacted in a tightly controlling fashion (albeit masked in the language of acceptance, trust, and self-exploration).

By contrast, other middle- and working-class parents perform what Nelson dubs 'parenting with limits': "They do not believe they need to be involved in making every decision about their children's lives,' and are most interested in teaching their children tools for self-sufficiency.

In the book's second half, Nelson explores how these different parenting styles affect attitudes toward new technologies like GPS devices and TV- and Web-content controls. . . .

Parenting Out of Control is full of astute tidbits, and while it doesn't exactly blow away the clichés of the helicopter parents, it does an excellent job of explaining what makes their rotors turns so fast, and why."


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781556527968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Lawrence Hill Books, 6/2010

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

"All Toni Stone ever wanted was to play baseball. She studied every book she could find, reading and rereading the history, rules, and legends of the national pastime. Stone was one of the rare individuals who not only was good at baseball, but born to play it. Problem was, Stone grew up in 1920s and '30s in America, and was a black woman. Talk about having two strikes against you.

And yet Stone persevered: Between the 1930s and 1950s, she made a living as a professional second baseman, eventually becoming the first woman to play in the legendary Negro League. Curveball chronicles her journey from schoolyard diamond rat to infielder for the Indianapolis Clowns, balancing the player's unique story with an exploration of the cultural context in which she played.

It's clear that Martha Ackmann, a professor of gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, is an academic: Her research is exceedingly thorough, and she's collected an incredible number of facts. Her mater-of-fact accounting of the Jim Crow atmosphere faced by black ballplayers—Stone was ignored by the press, and often had to sleep at brothels because small-town hotels rarely allowed blacks—is devastating. . . ."


$14.95
ISBN-13: 9781846942419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Zero Books, 12/2009

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

"'Where have all the interesting women gone?' demands the first line of this slim volume, kicking off a no-holds-barred polemic criticizing modern feminism for being 'about as radical as a diamante phone cover.' Author and academic Nina Power's aim is clear: to challenge 'the perky, upbeat message of self-fulfillment and consumer emancipation' which has, in her view, replaced genuine feminist discourse.

Power's chief target is capitalism, rather than feminism itself. She's impatient with the corporate workplace, where feminism is swept under the carpet . . .

The chapter titled 'Sarah Palin, or How Not to be a Feminist' identifies the contradiction embodied by the self-described maverick—that an anti-choice, retrogressive woman can successfully call herself a feminist without being sued for false advertising—but suggests that the terminology itself may be the problem. ('If feminism can mean anything from behaving like a man [to] being pro-life . . . and being pro-war, then we may need to simply abandon the term.') . . . Power is keen to confront the uncomfortable and unpalatable, a refreshing trait in a culture perpetually moving toward the anodyne. . ."


$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780345503145
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: One World/Ballantine, 3/2010

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010 and Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

From Bitch:

". . . Parks interviewed many who believe they have an obligation to be everybody's mama, healer, counselor, and babysitter: 'Superwoman' is in the DNA. Fierce Angels is a tribute to their strength, but it's also a long-overdue call for black women to save themselves from the exhaustion and abuse that too often comes with tending to others' needs and demands.

Of the service, successes, and sacrifices of well-known figures such as Nikki Giovanni, Michelle Obama, and Harriet Tubman, as well as a host of 'ordinary' black female college students, entrepreneurs, activists, and politicians who do the extraordinary, Parks writes, 'In the case of black women, the culture does not look inside the tough exterior. It makes them into simple and hard women.'

Fierce Angels challenges us to engage the Strong Black Woman on our own terms: 'Some women will decide that the images and strategies of the Strong Black Woman are too powerful to run away from. The power and resonance in American culture can be used in ways that protect and nurture black women too.'"

From Ms.:

". . . It's been more than 30 years since feminist Michele Wallace's Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman exposed the manner in which black men deployed the needs and vulnerabilities of real black women. Parks' book goes much further. Though there are many indomitable black women who possess formidable levels of strength, she argues, they are not superhuman, and it is detrimental to all of us to remain invested in such problematic stereotypes. These women are change agents in American life, fiercely human angels, whose stories deserve the kind of complex and nuanced analysis that Parks' book delivers."

 

 

 


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781592405619
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Gotham, 2/2010

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

"For anyone tired of the dating-book genre and its glut of passivity-preaching, Julie Klausner's I Don't Care About Your Band is the antidote. Humor disguised as memoir, it celebrates Klausner's many failed romantic endeavors—most of which she happily chased against her better judgment—to hilarious effect. Her tales of heterosexual amour may be disastrous, but Klausner, a comedy writer and veteran Upright Citizens Brigade performer, has written them with such irreverent glee that they're strangely uplifting.

. . . Throughout, she sizes up this menagerie of awful suitors with Borscht Belt zingers, and provides some insights that, while note entirely new, are incisive. . . .

Klausner convincingly argues that it's more fun to stay home with a Broadway musical than waste time going to another narcissist's boring rock show. And the charm of I Don't Care About Your Band is that even as its heroine repeatedly falls on her face searching for love, she never once doubts herself or tries to be more passive or less funny. And neither, she argues, should anyone else."


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9781416543084
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner, 2/2011

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

". . . Self-hatred is big business, and combating it is the foundation of Geneen Roth's career as an author and a speaker. . . . (Her work can be summed up with the maxim 'If you think that you'll be happy when you're thin, you're never going to be happy.') In such books as Feeding the Hungry Heart, she has examined the link between eating and emotion, and now she explains how exploring one's relationship with food can illuminate one's connection to the divine.

Roth explains that, when she first began her work on compulsive eating more than 25 years ago, she saw 'obsession with food as a banal woman's problem that needed to be removed . . . so we could focus on more pressing spiritual, intellectual, and political concerns.' This book grew out of her realization that disordered eating is a spiritual problem, in that women who are food-obsessed are alienated from their true selves—and, thus, from God. It's to Roth's credit that she knows just how kooky this last bit might sound. She even argues that the unlikeliness of her argument is part of its appeal: By pairing food and God, Roth compels her audience to question everything they think they know about both. . . ."


$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780465011520
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Basic Books, 4/2010

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, Summer 2010

"The Pill. In the universe of pharmaceuticals, it alone needs neither brand name nor description. As the nation's leading form of birth control, it has been used by a whopping 85 percent of women who have had heterosexual sex; it's also been lauded as a liberator of women and a catalyst of the sexual revolution. In 1993, the Economist even dubbed it one of the seven wonders of the modern world. But in America and the Pill, historian Elaine Tyler May tidily debunks perceptions of oral contraception as feminism's magic bullet, writing, 'The pill was not the pharmacological engine for any mega-transformations in our social, cultural, or political lives.' Instead, May argues, the Pill's impact had much to do with its timing; it entered women's private lives at a key moment in political and cultural change, enabling them to create their own 'mega-transformation.'

America and the Pill is a lean, captivating history, particularly when May contextualizes the Pill as a product of Cold War fears and sensibilities: Although pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. government considered contraceptives scandalous in 1950, the Pill was legitimized as a possible solution to global overpopulation, a hot-button issue fueled by racial and political anxieties. The Pill tapped into the era's unshakable faith in scientific progress and medical experts; Americans were confident it could reduce population, alleviate poverty around the world, and foster happy families at home. Of course, few of these promises were realized. The Pill neither stabilized the world nor stemmed the population crisis and its arrival in 1960 ushered in a decade of dissent rather than social order.

May is a skilled writer, and she weaves the book's abundant personal accounts of women's experiences with the Pill with discussion of governmental policies and historical records to create clear and legible scholarship. By the end of America and the Pill, I hadn't just learned about the Pill—I had a better sense of our nation's cultural history."



ISBN-13: 9780814776315
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: New York University Press, 11/2009

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, June 2010

"With headlines touting an obesity epidemic and an ever-evolving door of Hollywood hotties who are seemingly never thin enough, the specter of the fat girl is everywhere. For decades, a growing cadre of academics have been examining the role of body weight, and their work is collected here in this amazing, multidisciplinary tome on fat studies. Even for a non-academic reader, this book is accessible, as well as incredibly queer. There's plenty of weightyness in the fat studies diaspora, with writers tackling fatness and mother blame, the intersections of transgender and fat law, fat oppression as a form of violence against women, and, most chillingly, the fat gene and the gay gene as a factor in the new consumer eugenics movement. The essays rarely come across as didactic, and the milestone achievement of this collection is the way it combines public policy and chick lit, eroto-politics and gay chubby chasers, job discrimination and lesbian size queens. Factoids may not stick with you but the real historical, sociocultural implications of the big body will."


$19.95
ISBN-13: 9781558616127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 3/2010

Reviewed by Curve Magazine, June 2010 Hammer!

"Hammer! is the first book written by experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer. A fundamental figure in 1970s lesbian feminism, Hammer continues to both produce films and teach film studies. In her long career, she has been responsible for many cinematic firsts. . . . This book collects essays she has written for film journals and feminist publications like Heresies and Sinister Wisdom, and personal narratives produced before the age of blogging or even before the Internet could make them widely available. Hammer is self-reflective, ironic, joyful and funny, capturing the eras she lived through as a feminist artist . . . . Kudos to editor Amy Scholder and the Feminist Press for recognizing the need for this book, and for producing it so artfully."


$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780807004692
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Beacon Press, 5/2010

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, June 2010

"Motherhood can be scary for anyone, but when it comes to lesbian, nonbiological moms-to-be, there was no real guidebook--until now. Miller talks about the excitements and difficulties that come from being the lesbian partner who doesn't give birth."

Women. Period. (Paperback)

$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781883523947
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Spinsters Ink, 9/2008

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, June 2010

"Every woman has or had it, but no one wants to talk about it—until now. Women. Period. takes the love-hate relationship we have with Aunt Flo beyond the boundaries of age and culture, resulting in a funny, sad, sweet, angry and adoring collection of menstruation memories. It is both a celebration and an examination of the shared experience that unites all women. Broken into three sections, 'Crescent,' 'Full' and 'Waning,' the book takes a look at our monthly visitor from the multiple stages of our lives. This collection of poetry, essays, and short stories written by women, for women, is intended to inspire and unite us. We are women, hear us roar! After all, the title isn't Women. Question Mark."

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9780312379964
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Griffin, 11/2009

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, June 2010

"Billed as a 'funny, fascinating and occasionally scary story of big business, advertising, feminism, gender roles, medicine, religion, world cultures and above all, good manners . . . in which every single female, young or old, will recognize her story.' Flow will likely become the definitive cultural analysis of menstruation in herstory. A wellspring of information about menstruation from a social and historical (or hysterical) perspective, the book exposes the so-called feminine hygiene industry, among other institutions and social strictures. 'Whenever menstruation is mentioned these days, it's only because there's an underlying sales pitch,' writes the authors. The book is illustrated with a host of 20th- and 21st-century advertisements for sanitary napkins and other period-related products and services. A compelling read, irreverent and funny, Flow offers fresh insight into why our culture is both bizarrely preoccupied with and ashamed of an experience that half of the earth's population regularly undergoes."

$16.95
ISBN-13: 9780810942110
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 10/2009

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, June 2010

"A tale of four diverse girls (one has lesbian parents) who unite to bring down the popular mean girl. In the process, the girls discover friends for life. This charming story became the center of controversy when Scholastic Books didn't include it in their book fairs because the author refused to omit the same-sex couple."


$23.95
ISBN-13: 9781595584809
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: New Press, The, 10/2009

Reviewed in Make/Shift magazine, Issue 7, Spring/Summer 2010

". . . Ties That Bind is at once a groundbreaking philosophical tome, a personal narrative, and complexly layered cultural criticism that articulates the effects of familial homophobia on the social construction of gay kids and, thus, gay adults. Schulman makes clear how insidious and deeply dehumanizing familial homophobia is. Through such tactics as shunning and false accusations, the homophobic family obscures its deleterious effects, and gay/lesbian kids internalize the message that because we are gay, we are not as human as straight folks, not as deserving of unconditional love. And, Schulman says, our homophobic families behave this way because they can. And because no one will intervene. Gay people, Schulman explains, then play out these patterns within our chosen families; as one example, Schulman describes the way some lesbians use the legal system to withhold visitation rights to co-mothers after a breakup, claiming that only the biological mother is legitimate. . . . Schulman stresses that there must be third-party intervention in order to undo societally sanctioned homophobia. She demands that straight family members, friends, colleagues, legislators, therapists, and others intervene when they witness homophobic speech or behavior, 'making familial homophobia a public matter and not a private one.' "


$14.95
ISBN-13: 9781580052726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Seal Press, 12/2009

Reviewed in Make/Shift magazine, Issue 7, Spring/Summer 2010 and Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010 

From Make/Shift:

". . . Rojas attempts to include the voices of as many women and communities of color as possible within the limited space of the book. While focusing the bulk of her analysis on Black and African American women, Rojas includes Chicana, Latina, Native American, and Asian American perspective and histories in each chapter. Sections within the chapters on the work of major theorists, from Stuart Hall's popular-culture theories to Maria Lugone's theory of world traveling, are well reasoned and clear, and Rojas has not cut corners. Rojas also addresses the complex issues for women of color surrounding reproductive rights, and is particularly effective when clarifying how histories of slavery and colonization continues to affect representations of Black women's sexuality."

From Ms.:

"Using examples from history, pop culture and the Internet, Rojas—a professor of women's, gender and sexuality studies—offers insight into the experience of being both feminist and racially 'othered.'"

 


$34.95
ISBN-13: 9780910037501
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Arizona Historical Society, 10/2009

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, May 2010

"First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is known for many things: for being a second-wave feminist icon, for her humanitarian work in social causes (like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and for her rumored lesbian romance. While this collection of letters—written between she and her life-long best friend Isabella Greenway—does not address her sexuality, we do get to see a more personal side of this pioneering woman. Roosevelt and Greenway share stories of family, childbirth, sorrow and triumphs, dating from their teens into old age. Among the seemingly trivial everyday occurrences there are glimpses into the political lives they led—Roosevelt, of course, as first lady and perhaps the most influential member of the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights, and Greenway as Arizona's first congresswoman."

Just Kids (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780060936228
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco, 11/2010

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, April/May 2010

"Punk-rock poet Patti Smith's life story could probably fill a Proustian number of volumes. But in this slim, richly realized memoir, she focuses on 1967 to 1989—the years that spanned her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, before his life was cut short by AIDS. Those familiar with the gay eroticism of Mapplethorpe's most notorious work may be surprised to learn that, in the early days of their relationship, the pair were lovers. Both new to New York City, rich in artistic dreams, and desperately low on cash, Mapplethorpe and Smith met by chance in their early 20s and instantly recognized each other as kindred spirits. In exquisitely detailed vignettes, Smith describes the tiny apartments they shared in Brooklyn, the heavy influence each had on the other's creative ambitions, and the sacrifices they made just to survive. . . . Through it all—despite Mapplethorpe's revelations about his sexuality, Smith's wanderlust, and the attention from admirers as both made their mark—the pair remained soul mates to the end. And it is their ceaseless devotion to one another that shines brightest in this book, even amid the sea of famous faces."


Imperfect Birds (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781594485046
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Trade, 4/2011

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, April/May 2010

". . . Lamott's writing is evocative, as she skillfully navigates the emotional landscapes of parents and teenagers. Imperfect Birds is a finely wrought story of parental love, the self-loathing and narcissism of youth, and the light at the end of the tunnel."


$14.95
ISBN-13: 9780547423180
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books, 1/2011

Reviewed in Bust Magazine, April/May 2010

". . . O'Farrell is an excellent storyteller who expertly evokes the sharp thrill of first love and the sleepless, besotted blur of new-motherhood. Though one or two plot twists might challenge our suspension of disbelief, they are made up for by the human believability of her characters and the quirky clarity with which she portrays mid-century London's modernist charms."


$15.95
ISBN-13: 9781936070015
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Akashic Books, 5/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"In her first book of poems, Garcia (Dreaming in Cuban) proves as adept a poet as novelist. She chronicles the life of her drug-addicted doomed brother and her own anguish as she comes to terms with the loss of her hermano."

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780470177099
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Wiley, 4/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"Why are U.S. mothers so pressed for time and money? Journalist Sharon Lerner sets aside such decoys as 'opt-out moms' and 'slacker dads' to examine the root of the problem: family-unfriendly U.S. policies."


$16.95
ISBN-13: 9781580052856
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Seal Press, 4/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"Inspired by a 1972 Ms. article in which something 'clicked' in the minds of emerging feminists, writers who came of age in the '80s and '90s describe the epiphanies that made them rebel against sexism and patriarchy."


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780307269997
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 5/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

"True to its title, this last installment of Swedish author Stieg Larsson's popular trilogy of spy thrillers has the same forces stirred up in the first two books doing grand, final battle, not just for the fate of its female protagonist but for the soul of justice itself. It's high drama full of even loftier metaphors, but Larsson—who died in 2004 after delivering the manuscripts for the trilogy—was adept at the genre, and Hornet is no exception: taut, detailed and hard-boiled in the best detective-fiction tradition. He also radically feminized that tradition by centering the political stakes and intrigue in this series around the empowerment and equal treatment of women. Those who have read Larsson are used to the equation, which he presented with typical matter-of-factness, but it still feels revolutionary. At least on this side of the Atlantic. . . ."

$27.25
ISBN-13: 9780813546858
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Rutgers University Press, 1/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"Kids today! They're poignant, passionate and pugnacious, judging from these 21 essays, which pair wise words with smart activism."

$39.95
ISBN-13: 9780393066289
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 6/2010

Revieed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"In these 90-plus pieces of observation, remembrance and literary criticism, Gordimer is precise, unembellished, evocative. Now 86, the Nobel Prize-winner remains the white South African literary voice against oppression."

A Thread of Sky (Paperback)

$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143118626
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 3/2011

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

"In her first novel, Fei sends empty-nester Irene, her three daughters, her sister and her 80-year-old mother on a package tour to China with the goal of family bonding. Instead, they find a new understanding of themselves and their vast ancestral home."


The Second Sex (Hardcover)

$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780307265562
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 4/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

"A new translation of Simone de Beauvoir's magnum opus has appeared at last. . . . [O]verall their translation works well. They retained Beauvoir's generous usage of semi-colons and pages-long paragraphs, which takes some getting used to. But one is soon drawn into the torrent of Beauvoir's prose. She wrote this long work at breakneck speed, and the new version brings out its sense of urgency. . . . The new translation follows the French more exactly and captures the rhythm of Beauvoir's prose. . . . [T]he real advantage of this volume is that it gives new generations of English readers a more accurate and complete understanding of Beauvoir's thinking. Even with the excised material restored, it is only 40 pages longer than the original—bulky, but compact enough to fit in an undergraduate's backpack. Newcomers to Beauvoir should make sure to read the last chapter, 'The Independent Woman.' Then they can ask themselves: Do Western women today deal with the trade-offs, obstacles and challenges that Beauvoir describes? Have we really come a long way? And where are we headed now?"

Best Love, Rosie (Paperback)

$17.95
ISBN-13: 9781934848418
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: GemmaMedia, 3/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"Published posthumously, O'Faolain's final novel follows a midlife woman who leaves Dublin for New York City, undergoing transformations of body, mind and soul."


ISBN-13: 9780520260788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: University of California Press, 6/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

"Over a long career as a scholar of international relations, Cynthia Enloe has been preoccupied with the query Where are the women? Without asking questions about gender, she warns, we can't get a complete picture of international politics. In Nimo's War, Emma's War, she uses the experiences of four Iraqi women and four American women as jumping-off points to examine the price women have paid (and continue to pay) in the Iraq War. Their stories help illustrate how gendered politics change over the course of a war and how this thing we call war itself changes over time. . . . Enloe's thesis [is] that women's endorsement is necessary for war to occur and continue. As in most wars, the women impacted by the Iraq War have remained largely invisible, either infantilized and disregarded or turned into symbols. Military commanders dismiss American women's accusations of rape by fellow soldiers; the wives of deployed National Guardsmen, left in desperate financial straits, turn to government food stamp programs. Meanwhile, Iraqi women provide serial images of helplessness, huddling together as American soldiers break down doors, shine strobe-strength lights and bark commands. 'Time after time in press photos, we see a girl in her nightclothes, looking stunned.' Enloe writes. "We hear nothing . . . from the girl, what she is thinking, what she later tells her friends, what she asks her mother, what she writes in her diary.' With Nimo's War, Emma's War, we begin to imagine."


$27.45
ISBN-13: 9781438431420
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: State University of New York Press, 6/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"The conversational, first-person essays in this anthology illuminate the ways African Americans, both women and men, incorporate feminism into their daily lives, whether starting a business, navigating relationships or challenging religious doctrine."

$22.00
ISBN-13: 9781596271203
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Published: Seabury Books, 6/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010, Great Reads for Spring 2010

"For Fiedler, a feminist Roman Catholic nun, interfaith work seems as important as personal faith. Here, she conducts long, impassioned interviews with women religious and spiritual leaders, scholars and activists, finding common threads in their efforts to ensure women's full participation in their realms of worship and belief."

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780061988257
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Published: Harper Perennial, 5/2011

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Spring 2010

" . . . [Allende's] epics always involve women of extraordinary resiliency, and this 10th novel is no exception. It is multigenerational, beginning in 1770 and following Toulouse Valmorain and his slave Tété . . . . the novel's most powerful impact is in its unrelenting depiction of slavery. Because it's more profitable to replace slaves rather than treat them with anything resembling benevolence, they were starved, burned alive and beaten mercilessly. Over half a million labored from dawn to dusk in Haiti. Ultimately, Valmorain flees to New Orleans with Tété and the children, where slaves are treated slightly better, but only slightly—the servitude was so atrocious that many committed suicide, lost their lives attempting escape or killed their newborns so the babies would go 'happily to the island beneath the sea without ever experiencing slavery.'"


$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780061670923
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Perennial, 1/2011

Reviewed in Bitch Magazine, no. 46, Spring 2010

". . . Castle possesses an undeniably sharp intellect, and these pieces reveal a great talent for constructing the personal essay. ('Travels with My Mother' wonderfully captures the mother-daughter dynamic in the least Hallmark-ish was possible.) She is particularly unflinching in her depictions of her almost unbelievable screwed up family—a dissection that would seem almost cruel if it weren't also accompanied by similarly devastating self-critique of her own foibles and neuroses. While Castle's descriptions of her dysfunctional affair with the professor are titillating indeed, it's her uncensored emotional and psychological confessions that are truly revealing."



ISBN-13: 9784770031167
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Kodansha, 1/2010

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, April 2010

"After a friend's suicide, Kazumi Mano wakes up from a nap to discover her big toe has turned into a penis. After joining a show featuring sexual abnormalities, feelings begin to stir inside Mazumi—and her big toe—that she never knew existed. Even with a premise that might seem perverse, this novel is a surprisingly mainstream meditation on love and friendship."


$15.00
ISBN-13: 9780425227909
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Berkley Trade, 8/2009

Reviewed in Curve magazine, April 2010

"A young woman and her mother offer an intimate look at a family with eating disorders . . . And it's not just any mother and daughter—this pair includes a mom who's an award-winning food critic, and a daughter who changes from an enthusiastic eating companion to a secretive, troubled teenager suffering from both anorexia and bulimia. . . . Lisa's eating disorder developed slowing, starting with a predisposition to stockiness (despite being involved in many sports) and a childhood drenched in food and low self-esteem. Lisa's mom, Sheila, is accepting and nurturing, but like all parents, imperfect, and the frankness with which she admits her own faults is refreshing. As her parents begin to realize the extent to which the eating disorders have become entrenched in Lisa's life, the family dynamics implode. The dual voices in the book differ on some important points, including the availability of junk food in the house, the misread cries for help, even the way Lisa looked as a young teenager—her mother says she was 'never fat,' but Lisa insists she was. 'I'm not sure what I weighed, but it didn't matter because I felt fat.' So began many years of over-exercising, skipping meals, restricting foods, bulimia, and an obsession that consumed about 90 percent of her thoughts on any given day. As the family stumbles toward recovery, the book winds down with mother and daughter (Lisa is now in her early 20s) expressing hope for the future. There may be a bumpy road ahead, but the mere fact of Lisa's survival, and the revelation that healing is possible, will provide comfort for many families on the same path."


$27.00
ISBN-13: 9781933108261
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Speck Press, 12/2009

Reviewed in Curve magazine, April 2010

". . . Tattoo historian Amelia Klem Osterud offers up a fascinating look at the daring women who covered their bodies in ink and traveled the country performing nearly nude at a time when it was considered scandalous to even show an ankle. . . . Osterud's loving historical memoir pays tribute to these women with amazing vintage photo and text that combines their personal narratives along with passages on feminist labor history, circus life and the impact these tattooed ladies had on modern neo-burlesque performers."


$20.95
ISBN-13: 9781930464124
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Paris Press, 12/2009

Reviewed in Curve Magazine, April 2010

"With works by Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Daisy Zamora, and other feminist literary leaders, this collection of poems, short stories and memoirs eloquently explores sibling love, adoration and rivalry. Read it with your sister and the two of you will be practicing your secret language again and arguing about that shirt she borrowed and never returned. Ah, sisters!"


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9781400052189
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Published: Broadway Books, 3/2011

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010

". . . The interactions between Skloot, a white woman, and the initially wary Lacks family contribute to the fascinating story. Of her relationship with Deborah, Skloot says, 'We formed a deep personal bond, and slowly, without realizing it, I became a character in her story, and she in mine.' What emerges from Skloot's relentless investigative reporting and Deborah's implacable desire to gain recognition for her mother [whose cells have been used by medical researchers nationwide without permission or acknowledgement] is a sweeping account of race, gender, ethics, class, economics, science and medical treatment and how they intersect in U.S. society. It illuminates what happens when medical research is conducted within an unequal health-care system and delivers an American narrative fraught with intrigue, tragedy, triumph, pathos and redemption."


Shadow Tag (Paperback)

$14.99
ISBN-13: 9780061536106
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Published: Harper Perennial, 2/2011

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010

"Louise Erdrich has crafted a harrowing novel of fire and ice, with love and violence, exhilaration and terror, and the warm security of family rituals alternating unpredictably with chilling outbursts of emotional and physical violence. Shadow Tag's form and content make for disturbing polarities: Erdrich imposes her exquisite mastery of language, imagery and literary form upon the raw and brutal chaos of mental illness, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Unlike the rich orchestrations of much of her previous fiction, with its expansive explorations of history, storytelling and social communities, Shadow Tag is chamber music in a minor key: two parents and three children, a family in free fall over the course of one Minnesota winter. . . . Gill manipulates the family through his charisma and their fear. Irene, more likely to be focusing on a wineglass than her unfinished dissertation, seems incapable of leaving her husband or standing up for her children's safety. . . . Where Shadow Tag commands a tragic universe is in its heartbreakingly empathetic portrayal of three innocent victims: Florian, 13; Riel, 11; and 6-year-old Stoney. The children are painted with warmth, tenderness and an unsparing understanding of what their parents have done to them."


$16.00
ISBN-13: 9780143118527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 4/2011

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010

"In the latest from the author of the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul, a married mother of three corresponds with the author of a book about Rumi, the 13th-century mystic poet. Shafak weaves historical fiction with a contemporary woman's discovery of her spiritual counterpart."


$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780805083262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Times Books, 3/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010

"Given its depressing topic—the media's insidious contribution to the waning influence of feminism—Enlightened Sexism is a delightful read. Douglas had me laughing out loud as she made her irreverent but persuasive case against a popular culture that promises girls and women they can be whatever they want as long as they don't want the wrong things. . . . By provoking us to laugh, Douglas teaches us to resist. Her book is a powerful booster shot meant to keep us thinking critically about how television, movies, ads and popular culture depict the lives and desire of girls and women."


$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780393049343
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 3/2010

Reviewed in Ms. Magazine, Winter 2010

"Starting with antiquity, the distinguished historian examines the origins of America's racial categories. Of particular interest to feminists: how the social construction of femininity has long intertwined with the fetishization of white beauty."