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Women We Read This Week

Donna Seaman’s "Turning out the lights just isn’t going to do it" in Creative Nonfiction In the movie Bang the Drum Slowly, there’s a card game called “The Exciting Game without Any Rules,” and I think that’s a good description of writing in general. It’s true of nonfiction writing in the sense that you are at the mercy of events. You go out, and you ... [Continue Reading]

women-we-read-this-week-12

Women We Read This Week

Ali Smith's "The Human Claim" at Liberty I love the way Ali Smith writes, so I was happy to find this piece amidst 80 author responses to the theme of "liberty." Here she draws a line from the ashes of D.H. Lawrence to credit card fraud to Google Streetview to Harmondsworth to Lawrence again, capturing a certain universal ridiculousness in life through moments of ... [Continue Reading]

Demon Camp review Jennifer Percy

On the Far End of Reality: Jennifer Percy’s Demon Camp

Everywhere he went, he saw them, their burned bodies, watching him. These were the days after the war. Demon Camp is not really about soldiers. Well, okay, it is. Jennifer Percy's debut book revolves around the lives of soldiers who’ve returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, focusing chiefly on the story of Sgt. Caleb Daniels. But Daniels doesn’t believe his ... [Continue Reading]

women-we-read-this-week-12

Women We Read This Week

Maria Konnikova’s “An Antidote for Mindlessness” on The New Yorker’s Science and Tech “Elements” blog If you practice yoga and meditation, you know the word: mindfulness, and if you’re like me, it strikes terror. Sprawled on the mat, you’re supposed to focus on your breath but all you can do is imagine the pizza maker, whose shop shares the building with ... [Continue Reading]

Armless Angel

The Grief Book Club

My aunt died recently. Although she was sick and we all knew about it, it was somehow still sudden and shocking. She was diagnosed with HIV about six years ago, and I guess I'd come to believe that she, like other people who have been diagnosed, would live a long and healthy life. By some strange coincidence, in the six months preceding my aunt's death I worked my way ... [Continue Reading]

women-we-read-this-week-12

Women We Read This Week

Claire Messud interviewed by Alex Clark in The Guardian I've come late to Claire Messud: I picked up The Last Life on a whim last weekend - it was on a table piled high with paperbacks for sale at the farmers' market, and I brought it home and fell right into it, full of remarkably un-jealous admiration. Here, interviewed by Alex Clark, Messud speaks about her latest ... [Continue Reading]

Photo by: mara~earth light~

Summer Reads from Vela

Books by women for the last glorious gasp of summer! Rachel Kushner'sThe Flamethrowers Sure, I was predisposed to like Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers. The story of a perceptive yet impressionable young female narrator in 1970s New York is woven in with revolutionary Italians and themes of speed, geography, class and feminism – basically, right up my alley. But ... [Continue Reading]

women-we-read-this-week-12

Women We Read This Week

Joanna Walsh's "In Cyberspace: a love letter" in Granta Here is a thoroughly modern love story, largely enacted online, in "the place we all live now - that overcrowded tenement where each one of us knows a little of the other's business," dealing (in a beautiful, dreamy tone) with themes of space, place, and time in the Age of the Internet. "Am I asking the wrong ... [Continue Reading]

Photo by Adrian Midgley

On Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby

For almost two years now, I've been making a dress. I bought the pattern and a roll of fabric on holiday in Wales, but I didn't have a sewing machine (or tailor's chalk, or pins, or enough time, or enough patience) and I didn't know how to sew, so what I was really buying was the possibility of becoming the sort of person who could make a dress. For a long time the ... [Continue Reading]

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Two Essential Feminist Reads

Deborah Copaken Kogan's "My So-Called 'Post-Feminist' Life in Arts and Letters" in The Nation I remember sitting in my Craft of Memoir course in college, listening to a zealous-eyed classmate give a book report (is it possible we had book reports in college?). She was presenting a memoir by a female war photographer who'd amassed some crazy intense stories from all over ... [Continue Reading]