I am in awe of feminist author and activist Dorothy Allison.
Born in South Carolina in 1949 and now living in California, Allison has attracted numerous accolades in the last thirty years for her six published books. (They include Lambda Literary Awards, ALA Awards for Lesbian and Gay Writing and a ridiculous number of others.) She is the rare writer to reach, in my opinion, wonderful heights in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, though her two already-released full-length novels, Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller, are her most famous works.
Hello, hello! Ready for some thought-provoking links? I knew you were!
Today, in bad taste... anti-abortion group Life Always is comparing aborted fetuses to people killed by the earthquake in Japan. The always-astute ColorLines reports on the wrongheadedness of this tactic.
TransGriot writes about the importance of having trans* people in US cinema, and not just as characters.
Did you see the New York Times' claim that all of Washington D.C.'s influential pundits are young men... and Ann Friedman's response? Feministe gives us a run-down.
Alvin McEwan muses on the irony of bishops denying queer people housing, and Frances Kissling talks about the life of Geraldine Ferraro, an influential pro-choice Catholic politician, both on AlterNet.
Some of us at Bitch HQ were unhappy to see this announcement about Mad Men's hiatus. Meanwhile at Philly, Ellen Gray explores the curious decision to include a documentary about 1960s divorce on the Season 4 DVDs. What's your take?
At HuffPo, Linkins argues against the claim that political liberals are silent about invading Libya.
Recently at a safety seminar, a Toronto cop told students that "Women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like 'sluts.'" In protest, awesome local women are marching past police headquarters on Sunday for the Slutwalk!
Jay-Z is arguably the most successful hip-hop artist in the world. He owns a sports team, created a clothing line, ran a record label and then started his own, and last year beat Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most Billboard 200 hits. This year, he decided to add "author" to his long list of titles. Decoded is part memoir, part argument in defense of hip-hop, part lyrical analysis of his work, both well-known and unknown, and part printed self-aggrandizement with expensive-looking art design to match—like a microcosm of hip-hop itself. (But with more avant-garde black-and-white photography.)
Although you can count her published works on one hand, Nella Larsen's achievements went beyond literature. She was a head nurse at the Tuskegee Institute, and the first African-American woman to graduate from library school as well as the first to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship.
There's a great piece in this Sunday's New York Times Book Review by Katie Roiphe regarding the inclusion of sex in novels by American male writers over time. Roiphe argues that it's a generational difference, as writers like John Updike and Philip Roth would be very explicit and close to raunchy in their fictitious encounters, while newer authors like Dave Eggers shy away from racy jaunts and, instead, focus on relationships.
But what interested me the most about this piece was the note Up Front from Roiphe, who said that while male writers are writing less openly about sex, women and gay writers are much more open to experimenting with it now, and how the feminist revolution is largely to thank for some of the change.