Though I Can Barely Take Care of Myself covers Kirkman’s entire life—including her Boston childhood and long comedy career—and zeroes in with especially sharp wit on the experience of being an adult without children.
Kirkman took a moment out of her current tour in support of the book to discuss what inspired her book, why some people think child-free women will change their minds, and what happens when an elementary schooler attends a sleepover party while dressed like Groucho Marx.
Oh hello. Here's all the feminist news I'm reading today.
• A video of Charles Ramsey, the black neighbor of three kidnapping victims in Cleveland, went viral yesterday—it's remarkable not just because the neighbor helped rescue three imprisoned women, but because he points out issues of rampant racism. [Salon]
• Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion, even though she paid off the back taxes. She compared the tax system to slavery, saying: "I was put into a system I didn't know the nature of.... I'm a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me. I sold 50 million units ... now I'm up here paying a tax debt. If that's not likened to slavery, I don't know what is."
Over the past several months, I have found myself increasingly depressed and enraged by what seems to be endless stories about sexual and physical violence directed toward girls. There is something that tends to haunt our culture’s thinking about girls: suspicion.
Anton DiSclafani's new novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (coming out on June 4 from Riverhead books), tells the Depression Era coming-of-age story of Thea Atwell, a complicated and willful 15-year old girl who is exiled to an equestrienne boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for her role in a mysterious family tragedy. Thea is a nuanced character whose relationship with horses and riding lends a sense of power and steadiness to life as she confronts what it means to be a young woman of her time.
Anton Disclafani herself is a horse-lover herself and was gracious enough to take time off from her writing, teaching, and caring for her horse, Val, to speak with me about her new book and what horses mean to young girls.