If your sexual education was anything like mine, every few years you and your peers were rallied into crowded classrooms, separated by gender, and were schooled on the happenings of your body. By the time you were in high school, you may have been fortunate enough to receive some vague and heteronormative information about STIs and how abstinence is the best (and only) form of birth control. Problematic? Yeah.
Saiya Miller and Liza Bley thought so, too, and compiled a collection of comics over the course of five years to educate others on sexuality in a far more inclusive and honest manner. The comics and stories are frank and real, free of the sugar coating that pervades the typical two-day sexual education courses rampant in U.S. public schools.
Susan Nussbaum is a celebrated disability activist, playwright and novelist. Her poignant and humorous debut, Good Kings Bad Kings tells the intertwining stories of disabled youth living in a Chicago institution and is the 2012 winner of Barbara Kingsolver's PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. I talked with Nussbaum about her visionary novel, disability oppression, and being a "furiously rebellious crip."
Kari Luna's debut young adult novel, The Theory of Everything, is a bright, shiny antidote to the dystopias and vampire love stories that dominate today's YA shelves. The story follows 14-year old protagonist Sophie Sophia on a soul-reckoning journey from the suburbs of Chicago to New York City to find her missing father – an eccentric physicist who left Sophie nothing but a box full of '80s-music mix tapes and a propensity for bizarre visions.
But Defiant Daughters, the new anthology of feminist food politics out this spring from Lantern Books, pushes readers to consider the connection between oppression of women and oppression of animals. It's especially relevant this week as we reflect on the links between meat and American identity: the US consumes an estimated 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July. Defiant Daughters unravels and explores the identities and big issues wrapped up in rejecting our country's carnivorousness.
Masha Tupitsyn writes about film, feminism, love, and being human in a media-drenched culture. Her new book, Love Dog, is a multimedia print version of a one-year blog project on love. The text is interspersed with film stills, URLs for movie clips and music videos, and more.
Love Dog feels like (one version of) what a book should be right now—a print text that's constantly in conversation with other texts and people and mediums.
For four years, reporters swarmed the ancient Italian town of Perugia, wrestling one another like dogs to be the first to break each rumor in the titillating murder case of British woman Meredith Kercher. In the vapid analysis of most news bites, headline painted roommate Amanda Knox as a perfect girl-next-door with a dark side: a vengeful seductress killer.
Susan Bordo is one of the most acute and lively chroniclers of our time. Whether she takes to task the male body (in her aptly named book The Male Body) or female body image (Unbearable Weight), Bordo is always a pithy observer of her subject matter, candidly disclosing her own biases and shortcomings. In her newest book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn, Bordo's skills are sharp as ever as she compares narratives from history and popular culture, revealing the bits of truth we know to be for certain about one of history's most elusive characters: Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England from 1553-1556, when her husband King Henry VIII had her imprisoned and beheaded.