It’s late afternoon on a Tuesday and actress Mink Stole has stopped cleaning her apartment to answer my phone call. “How fine can a person be when she’s washing floors?” she responds when I ask her how she’s feeling.  With forty years of theatrical acting experience under her belt and a place as one of John Waters’ Dreamlanders, the nimble actress/singer/advice-columnist took a break from readying her home for a ... Read More
  In writer/director Nicole Holofcener's (Friends with Money, Lovely & Amazing) latest poignant relationship drama, Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Eva, a woman whose post-divorce life is as boring as the conversations she’s forced to engage in with her pampered massage-therapy clientele. That is, until she reluctantly goes to a party where she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), a poet who needs a masseuse, and Albert (James Gandolfini), a man she ... Read More
From ’80s teen classic The Goonies to contemporary hit sitcom Raising Hope, Martha Plimpton has been playing roles women love for 35 years. Here, she opens up about acting, activism, and on-screen abortions. Sitting down with the amazing Martha Plimpton is, well, pretty amazing. Minutes after we arrive at the small Italian place in N.Y.C. she’s chosen for our interview, she proclaims gleefully that the vintage refrigerator in the corner is exactly the same ... Read More
In her debut collection of short stories, Chinelo Okparanta takes a look at what it’s like to be a woman in Nigeria. Okparanta, who lived in the African country until she was 10, tells tales of women struggling to survive within the confines of a culture that has not been (and is still not) especially kind to their gender, and although the stories might be fictional, there is clearly a lot of truth behind them. In “America” she focuses on a ... Read More
Memoirs from children of celebrities and politicians abound, but the offspring of our country’s leading intellectuals have been less effusive. That gap has started to close, however, thanks to Najla Said’s Looking for Palestine, a memoir from the daughter of the late Edward Said, the outspoken advocate for Palestine who single-handedly founded post-colonial studies. Said grew up with her Palestinian father and Lebanese mother on the Upper West ... Read More
Editor Henriette Mantel shares more than a lack of children with her fellow contributors to No Kidding—all have professional backgrounds in writing and performing, most of them in comedy. Yet despite these similarities, the 37 by-turns-funny-and-poignant essays showcase a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and voices. Some women had been fairly sure since they were children themselves that they didn’t want kids, some simply never thought of ... Read More
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 ... Read More
“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 ... Read More
  Samantha Shannon’s debut novel (the first of a seven-part series) has already been compared to both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and this comparison is spot on. The Bone Season begins in underground London in the year 2059. Hundreds of years earlier, the fabric that separated the human world from the spirit world had been torn. Because of that, clairvoyance—the ability to connect with ghosts—has become prevalent across the ... Read More
In her guide for women looking to gain political office, Rebecca Sive argues for the necessity of such a book by opening up with the noteworthy statistics that, “Women occupy fewer than 20 percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress. Only 5 of our 50 states have women governors. And though thousands of women hold local and state offices, those percentages are dismal as well.” This lack of women in political office compelled Sive, who has served in ... Read More
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