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Although Marisha Pessi, author of the 2007 bestseller Special Topics in Calamity Physics, should be arrested for italics abuse, a crime against literature crazily splattered all over her second novel (and I am so not kidding), she’s spun such a gripping yarn that by the end, nearly 600 pages later, I had somehow forgiven the excessiveness. Night Film is a genre-bending page-turner melodramatically haunted by two absent characters, reclusive cult horror director Cordova and his daughter, Ashley, who...
  Every woman has a different answer to the question, “How did I become the woman I am today?” For many of us, this question is so complex it probably couldn’t be answered in under a thousand words. Luckily for us, a picture is worth at least that much. Awe-inspiring and prolific photographer Justine Kurland once told me, “Every woman artist must go through a phase of self-portraiture at some point in her life.” I agree; the way our bodies and souls change as we enter...
  Young South African artist Reshma Chhiba recently created a bold art installation, and her work has sparked debates. Chhiba’s assignment was to craft something to memorialize the inhabitants of a former women’s prison in Johannesburg, a jail that once contained some amazing female activists who fought apartheid (like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela).    So what exactly did Chhiba make? A twelve meter long vagina crafted out of red velvet flesh and acrylic black pubic hair. Viewers are invited to step inside, and they experience some pretty shocking things. The...
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing writer/director Jill Soloway, whose first feature film, Afternoon Delight, is set for release today (A.K.A. we just made your weekend plans for you). The 47- year-old writer, former showrunner, and BUST contributor is a serious feminist inspiration. Afternoon Delight showcases the life and self-realization of a Los Angeles mother named Rachel (Kathryn Hahn). In the film, the thirty-something mom finds herself trapped in a suffocating life; her husband constantly works (and their sex life is nonexistent), she feels...
“The first time Andy met Louisa, she was covered in blood.” So begins The Explanation For Everything, the engrossing and sometimes frustrating third novel from Lauren Grodstein. The opening sentence is actually the beginning of a strangely adorable meet-cute in an emergency room, but by the end of the first chapter, Louisa is again covered in blood, killed in a drunk-driving accident, leaving Andy and their two young daughters behind. The rest of the novel picks up 12 years later,...