As summer is quickly coming to a close, take some time to bask in the sun and soak in a good book. Here are some short, sweet, stellar reads for the rest of August, all works are recent releases from independent publishers.
Kelly Cogswell's new book details the origins of the Lesbian Avengers—seen at left eating fire at an Dyke March in the early 1990s (photo by Carolina Kroon).
Before reading Kelly Cogswell’s book Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger, I confess I didn’t know about Dyke TV. I didn’t know about the first and largest Dyke March in DC that 20,000 people attended in April of 1993. I certainly didn’t know my undergraduate English professor from Hunter College, Sarah Chinn, was a part of the Lesbian Avengers.
Feminist spoken word roadshow Sister Spit has been sporadically criss-crossing the nation for 20 years now, building community around radical writing, poetry, and films. The group started in 1994 as a Bay Area open mic night meant to highlight the work of women artists who weren't getting enough attention. Since then, Sister Spit has become a traveling show and literary press. On this episode, we talk with three talented members of recent Sister Spit tours: essayist Beth Lisick, poet Dia Felix, and artist and musician Cristy Road.
More ways to listen to the show are below the cut.
The pile of great new comics next to my bed has gotten dangerously high. It’s seriously teetering and about to collapse on the cereal bowl that I should have moved days ago. The problem is that artists and small publishing houses have put out a bunch of excellent comics in the past few months—here are seven of my recent favorites that focus on female protagonists or deal with queer and feminist themes.
The cast of the new Flowers in the Attic remake are looking deadly serious.
Like many twelve-year-olds in the 1980s, I read the dirtiest book I could get my hands on: Flowers in the Attic. The V.C. Andrews title was published in 1979 and I read every paperback in the five-book series so many times, the covers fell off. And I wasn’t alone: Flowers in the Attic sold over 40 million books. V.C. Andrews went on to write a number of other series; when she died, a ghostwriter took over. To date, over 50 books bear the name V.C. Andrews.
Ever notice how anger helps a man command a room, but it often has the opposite effect for women?
While the former comes off as passionate, the latter is often remembered as emotionally erratic, an outcome predictable enough to make any woman angry. (Can someone say vicious cycle?)
But there may be a way out, if a new book by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut is any indication. In Compelling People, the authors posit that what makes individuals captivating is their ability to communicate both strength and warmth, but they recognize that it's a fine balance—and that balancing act is trickier for women.