In 2008, 58 teenage girls published their take on body image, family, politics, and pop culture in the anthology Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Page Turner caught up with five of them to talk about feminism, teen-girl falsehoods, and what's happened in their lives since their essays left off.
Welcome to "Six Questions," a new Page Turner interview series with authors about their work. Today we talk with Jamaican-born writer, activist, and performance-poet extraordinaire Staceyann Chin about her new memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, a chronicle of Chin's childhood that includes her survival of parental abandonment, poverty, abuse, sexual assault, and her eventual coming out as a lesbian in her deeply homophobic homeland.
Page Turner talked with Chin about lessons of survival, otherness, the writing process, feminism, and her upcoming documentary on her quest to become a mama. Read on for the Q&A!
Welcome to Page Turner, a new blog on feminism and books here at Bitch's online headquarters. Here's my goal with Page Turner: to make it a collaboration between you, Bitch's readers, and me, your biblio-obsessed blogger. Page Turner is all about our love of books and feminisms, and all the many ways we interact with authors and their work in our daily lives. Read on for more!
"Rave On" is the Page Turner series that asks feminist writers, artists, musicians, activists, leaders, and scholars to talk about a book that completely rocked their world. This edition features writer, performer, activist, and biologist Julia Serano on Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-75, by Alice Echols. Read on for more!
Welcome to "Rave On," a new Page Turner series that asks feminist writers, artists, musicians, activists, leaders, and scholars to talk about a book that completely rocked their world. Our series kicks off with writer Jennifer Baumgardner, who raves about The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade, by Ann Fessler. Read on for more!
Much of the feminist movement has been wrapped in a maternal bow. Suffrage was sold to naysayers as a way to give mothers a say in government, not to mention the view that women would clean up politics. Organizations like Moms Rising and CODEPink appeal to women as caregivers and moms for ending wars and realizing universal healthcare. But a funny thing happened on our way to a feminist society - we also impacted the way boys and men are viewed.
Bitch is proud to announce our new book lovin' blog, Bibliobitch! To kick off our foray into the land of literature, here is an interview with author Kate Walbert by Bitch contributor Sarah Seltzer. Stay tuned for more, you bitchy bookworms, you.
Kate Walbert's new novel "A Short History of Women" follows the women in a single family down through the generations. The official synopsis of the book is: "From a lecture delivered to suffragettes in Victorian England to a playdate on Manhattan's Upper West Side, this provocative work chronicles four generations of women, their aspirations, the limits imposed on them, and the sometimes startling choices they make in the world."
Walbert's fictional family history begins with Dorothy Townsend, who starved herself for the British suffrage movement, and continues through to today. As Dorothy's name reappears in different permutations among her children, nieces and grand-nieces, so does her struggle with "the problem that can't be named," or the problem of how women can find fulfillment in an obstacle-filled environment. Dorothy's daughter devotes herself to science and shuns intimacy, even while serving as a role model for younger women. Her grand-nieces contend with an emptiness and lack of purpose and take that feeling out in myriad ways: trespassing on military property, blogging their feelings, drinking and moving through life as best they can. Walbert has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and the "playdate" chapter of this novel appeared in the New Yorker.
A few months back, Publishers Weekly published my interview with Walbert. However, I also asked her a few extra questions that were near and dear to my heart: namely, about the F-word. Here are her answers.
That journalist Sheila Weller's NYT Bestseller, "Girls Like Us" also features Carole King and Carly Simon is a nice extra, of course. I haven't even finished this book yet, but I just have to gush about it. It's music history, it's women's history, it's American pop culture history...what's not to love?