When She Woke

When She Woke

In When She Woke, an antibiotic-resistant STD that gives men no symptoms but leaves women infertile and a nuclear terrorist attack on Los Angeles in near-future America have unleashed a social response so conservative that the United States has become a theocratic caricature of itself. Steep economic decline coupled with isolated technological advances and near-martial […]

The Female of The Species

The Female of The Species

I picked up Mindy McGinnis’ The Female of The Species because of its blurb on Amazon: Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a relentless and riveting contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. A stunning, unforgettable page-turner. Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. Three […]

Dietland; Or: FUCK YES!

Dietland; Or: FUCK YES!

I cannot *begin* to express my love for the wonder that is Dietland. It is a gleeful, triumphant, satisfying FUCK YOU to all the shit that makes a woman’s life small or stifling or treacherous. It is Angela Davis’s iconic fist in the air, with a middle finger proudly raised. It is righteously noncompliant. Dietland […]

An Untamed State; Or, [Stunned Silence]

I have so much to say about An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay, and yet I have no words. I will try. An Untamed State is the story of Mirielle, a woman who is kidnapped for ransom and brutally, incomprehensibly, raped and tortured during her captivity. It is told from Mirielle’s first-person perspective, as she […]

The Color Purple; Or, Rape For Breakfast, Abuse For Lunch, Redemption For Dinner

Sometimes many years pass between my impulse to buy and my impulse to read a book. Such was the case with Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Sometimes my reason for picking up a book is a deeply felt desire to commune with something holy. Sometimes it’s the simple stupid reason that I want to read […]

Who Fears Death; Or, I Don’t Know Anything About The World

I finished the second half of Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor in one sitting. Finishing this book was like a death. Okorafor had been preparing us for the ending, purposefully and specifically, since very early on. Yet, I couldn’t let myself imagine its coming. This book is so difficult, so strange, so heart-wrenching that […]

On The Docket: My Complete And Total Attention

While I usually have somewhere in the neighborhood of half a dozen books going at once, the book I’m reading now has so captured my attention that I cannot spare one brain cell for anything else. Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor: I came to this book by googling “women writers of color,” and coming […]

Kindred; Or, Go Fuck Yourself, Margaret Mitchell

There was never an instant I was reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler, when my brow wasn’t deeply furrowed in consternation or horror. Kindred introduces us to Dana, a black woman 1976 California, struggling to make a living as a writer. Her husband, Kevin, white and slightly older, has just published a novel. They have bought […]

Facing The Uncomfortable Reality That I Am Part of Rape Culture, Too

When all this Bill Cosby shit started really hitting the fan last week, I ignored it. Not the way a person ignores 99.99% of the stimulus encountered over the course of a day, because that’s how our brains make sense of the world, but in the way a person looks at her ringing cell phone, sees […]