Reviews and Blog Posts: Feminism

Men explain things to me

by Rebecca Solnit

Reviewer Rating:
4

This short, smart group of essays shows off a small slice of Rebecca Solnit's rather intimidating body of work. The collection itself is a little all over the place. The wonderful  titular essay in this collection helped give a word to the phenomenon known today as "mansplaining." Some of the others...

Shadowshaper

by Daniel José Older

Reviewer Rating:
3

The once-vibrant murals in Sierra's Brooklyn neighborhood are fading. What's even stranger, their painted smiles are turning to looks of sadness and even terror. Her stroke-addled grandfather is apologizing for something he won't explain and rambling about something called shadowshapers, and now a corpse has chased her out of the first...

We should all be feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Reviewer Rating:
4

A simple, personal message reiterated from Adichie's 2012 TEDx talk: a happier, fairer society can be had if we embrace equality of the sexes. Our culture can evolve to permit a life based on interest than a life defined by gender stereotypes. I only wish change was as easy as...

Gabi, a girl in pieces

by Isabel Quintero

Reviewer Rating:
4

Gabi is a "Mexican fat girl". She loves her family, and food, and poetry, and maybe even Martin Espada. Also food. But no matter what she loves, she's pessimistic about her life. And why shouldn't she be? She's a virgin, she's poor, her father's a crackhead, her best friend is...

Oh, did that pass the Bechdel Test?

Miss Congeniality

While putting together a quick DVD display at the Ross-Broadway Library Branch this morning, I started thinking about the Bechdel Test. In case you have never heard of it, it's a simple test developed by a cartoonist in the eighties about women in film.

To pass the test a movie must have three things:

Cowboys are my weakness : stories

by Pam Houston

Reviewer Rating:
4

I first picked up this collection of short stories when I was in college, after reading “How to Talk to a Hunter” in one of my creative writing classes and thinking it was clever. I wasn’t super excited to read what seemed to me to be just “relationship stories,” so...

True grit : a novel.

by Charles Portis

Reviewer Rating:
5

True Grit by Charles Portis, first published in 1968, is the perfect starting block from which to begin an exploration into the Western genre. Having been adapted into two films (1969 starring John Wayne, and 2010 by Joel and Ethan Coen), the book is worth reading regardless of having seen either...

Hannah Arendt

Reviewer Rating:
4

The German film director, Margarethe von Trotta, chooses stories about strong, conflicted women so it is not surprising her latest film is a biopic about Hannah Arendt. In the 1930s, Arendt was prohibited from teaching in Germany because she was Jewish. She was stripped of her citizenship, escaped a camp and...

Gaddafi's harem : [the story of a young woman and the abuses of power in Libya]

by Annick Cojean

Reviewer Rating:
4

French journalist Annick Cojean writes an important but difficult-to-read account of the extensive system of sexual violence that existed in Libya under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. She uncovered this very secretive world of abuse while investigating women's role in Libya's revolution, a topic that has not received much attention. 

Umbrella

by Will Self

Reviewer Rating:
3

If you are interested in a challenging literary read and you secretly wish for the second coming of James Joyce, then Umbrella will meet all your Modernist resurrection fantasies. Will Self uses boggling and dense language to describe the mistaken institutionalization of suffragette Audrey De'ath after she acquires sleeping sickness....

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