thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Posts Tagged ‘rebecca solnit’

Hit the Books: The Best Feminist Reads of 2014

In books on January 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

Like a great white shark, you swim through the depths of a great book-ocean, hunting for prey. Already you have ambushed part one of Girls Like Giants’ best feminist reads of 2014. But your ravenous quest for cool things to download on your Kindle or check out from the library surges on unabated. You hunger for more.

We bow to your wishes, oh dinosaur of the sea! Here are five more books our contributors read and loved last year.

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit

“What if we only wanted openings,” asks Rebecca Solnit, “the immortality of the unfinished, the uncut thread, the incomplete, the open door, and the open sea?” This push to embrace the possibility of openings wrestles with the drive to closure in her newest book, The Faraway Nearby. It’s not an idle question, as the book shows Solnit reconstructing her difficult relationship with her mother as her mother descends into dementia and then death, and as Solnit herself battles cancer. Yet these obvious themes of ending and death do not sum up the book, which ranges widely and includes musings on Iceland, Frankenstein, writing, and an excess of apricots, as well as a bonus essay running throughout the book like a newsfeed on the bottom of each page. In assessing what is, for the individual, the ultimate conclusion, Solnit also considers the counter-ambiguity of a lack of closure—the meaning of the messy middle, the potential of beginnings. The Faraway Nearby is a beautiful book, best suited to contemplative periods, meditative moods, and a willingness to sail along with Solnit on her self-consciously jumbled journey. — Sarah S.

Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Long Division is a novel about growing up black and male in America. Its plot connects past and present, reminding us time and again that the violence of the Jim Crow era is much closer than some white Americans choose to believe. I worry that any description of Long Division’s beautiful and complex plotting will be off-putting and clunky outside of Laymon’s deft prose, but bear with me for a moment as the book is well worth a read. Part coming of age, part fantasy novel, and part indictment of fantasies of a post-racial America, the novel follows two young men named City—one, a real live character in the novel’s plot, and the other, the hero of the eponymous novel-within-the-novel, Long Division. As City furiously reads the novel, the plot weaves in and out of both City’s lives, sometimes seamlessly—names stay the same, plots twist and turn out of past and present and fact and fiction. We watch one City follow love through time travel, while the other City grapples with his sexuality. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

GLG Weekly Round-Up

In Weekly Round-Up on August 24, 2012 at 7:11 am

Check out “Our Voices, Our Stories: Training African Women’s & LGBT Organizations to Use Social Media is Critical” over at Spektra Speaks (and this one too).

And here is the Crunk Feminist Collective on the color of terrorism: “American breeds terrorists. And they are white not brown.”

Rebecca Solnit explores the type of man who thinks he knows everything, and who expects women to be the grateful recipients of his condescending lectures.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper writes about literary criticism that doubles as self-help in “Hard Blows.”

GLG pal Tammy Oler examines Pinterest’s visible girliness over at Bitch.

When women speak about their experiences with violence, many people don’t want to hear them. Lidia Yuknavitch’s powerful essay “Explicit Violence” demands recognition.

Ta-Nehisi Coates considers race and Obama’s presidency in “Fear of a Black President”

Michelle Dean writes about class, race, and TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo at Slate.