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Books

In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our April/May 2017 issue, here's her review of "Serpentine Loop" by Ele Kraljii Gardiner:   In poet Elee Kraljii Gardiner’s beautiful debut collection, serpentine loop (Anvil Press), she explores the magnificence of life’s circular tropes through the lens of figure skating; the repetition of painful events, the balancing dance of love and desire, the tough climates of an existentially glacial world. In “Outdoors, Ice” Gardiner, a former figure skater who hails from Vancouver, writes:...
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s debut novel Harmless Like You has, in the months since its initial UK release last August, quietly become a critical hit - with publication in several countries; a New York Times editor’s choice spot; glowing reviews in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Literary Review, and elsewhere; and appearances on numerous awards shortlists. Harmless Like You tells two interconnected stories. We open in New York City in the late 1960s with Yuki, a teenage girl who decides to stay in New York...
                                       A super villain with super strength, no health insurance, and a conscious. Henchgirl, Kristen Gudsnuk’s debut graphic novel published by Dark Horse comics, is a smart, funny, satirical take on your typical superhero graphic novel with its own twists and turns. I recently had the opportunity to both read and interview the author of Henchgirl. Gudsnuk began Henchgirl as a webcomic; now it is a published graphic novel...
The Declaration of Independence enshrines the “pursuit of happiness” as an “inalienable Right,” right next to life and liberty as essential endowments for all people. Or, at least, for all men. The inclusion of happiness as a right guaranteed to all men was a radical proposition in 1776, though it is now a defining aspect of American exceptionalism. The concept remains radical for women, however, because our social, political, and cultural systems are not actually built for us; these systems were constructed knowing our labor is...
Three powerful new memoirs by women have caught our attention for their common theme — and vastly different perspectives. Ayelet Waldman explores the benefits of microdosing; Cat Marnell writes about addiction; and Kelly Osbourne writes about growing up in the spotilght and dealing with substance abuse.   A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life By Ayelet Waldman(Alfred A. Knopf) Ayelet Waldman's A Really Good Day is an account of the author's month-long experiment using minuscule amounts of LSD to...

Refresh your to-read pile with these books from the BUST Guide in April/May 2017's print edition. Featuring new books from Roxane Gay, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Patricia Lockwood — plus a collection of Dolly Parton interviews and a book on clit-eracy — this list has a little something for everyone.   LIT PICK:Difficult WomenBy Roxane Gay(Grove Press) With Difficult Women, author Roxane Gay—already a celebrated novelist (An Untamed State) and essayist (Bad Feminist)—establishes herself as a master of the short story. For anyone who's experienced trauma, reading these chapters...
Dartmouth College student Kaya Thomas went to the library almost every day after high school. In a 2015 blog post for Stories From Women In Tech, Thomas recalls, 'I tended to pick up three or four books to read a week. Reading served as a great escape for a nerdy black girl... who had often felt very different than most of my peers.'  But in order to engage with the narratives available in her library, Thomas often had to imagine herself 'as a white teen girl with...
Another day, another shocking claim of domestic abuse revealing itself to us; this time from long-lost documents written by The Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath. Unseen letters by the American poet and writer claim domestic abuse against her estranged husband Ted Hughes. Some allegedly state that Hughes beat her and wanted her dead just days before her miscarriage, the Guardian reports. It is no secret that the pair maintained a tumultuous relationship and marriage, however, these two new allegations are apparently only part of a larger...
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's debut novel Harmless Like You opens, after a prologue, with a flasher. It's 1968 and our protagonist, a teenage girl named Yuki, is walking to her high school in New York City. When she sees a man flash a passing office girl, she stops for a moment and notices, "He was ignored by this chignonned woman, and she, Yuki, was invisible to him, a man who flaunted the shriveled purple stump of his penis on the first cold day of fall." Buchanan (who, full...
When there are so many women afraid to walk, run, or jog by themselves, Lauren Elkin takes back the streets with Flâneuse. Part history of walking, places, and people, and part memoir, the book tells the tale of the flâneuse, the female version of a flâneur. What is a flâneur, you might ask? According to Elkin: "From the French verb flâner, the flâneur, or 'one who wanders aimlessly', was born in the first half of the nineteenth century, in the glass-and-steel-covered passages of Paris... A figure of...