Books

  During the dawn of comics we usually learned the origin story of female characters through the point of view of their male counterparts. Lois Lane exists in relation to Superman, and the same goes for other famous women in comics—it has taken a long time for female characters to have their own autonomy.  DC Ink is changing this in a large way. The new imprint geared towards YA audiences has launched an entire series of graphic novels with all-new origin stories, written by women, starring women. The...
  You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other StoriesBy Kristen Roupenian(Gallery/Scout Press) Author Kristen Roupenian became an overnight literary sensation last year with the publication of her short story “Cat Person” in The New Yorker. But her new collection proves that her meteoric rise is backed up by an exacting eye for power and sexuality, desire and shame, and public versus private moments. A man grapples with his relationship history after his latest breakup turns violent. A woman tries to overcome her urge to bite...
Polly Rosenwaike’s debut story collection, Look How Happy I’m Making You, examines the period of early motherhood. Her characters are women in the throes of all aspects of reproduction—from breastfeeding to infertility, from morning sickness to abortion—and she portrays them not with the time-honored air-brush of pale pinks and blues, but in a bold palate full of contrasts, with candid, emotional empathy and raw somatic rigor. There is blood and discharge and spit-up. There are sore parts and torn parts; there are women hopeful, raw, and ravaged....
  Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen CollinsBy Kathleen Collins(Ecco)      Relatively unknown during her life, Kathleen Collins (1942-1988) is a writer whose work was first made available in 2016 with the posthumous publication of her short-story collection, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Her second book, Notes from a Black Woman’s Diary, is a timely follow-up for readers already acquainted with Collins, and a brilliant introduction for new readers. These selected works, affectionately edited by her daughter, Nina Lorez Collins, defy genres, putting Collins’ dedication to...
  Elsewhere, Home By Leila Aboulela(Grove Press/Black Cat) Author Leila Aboulela takes readers from Khartoum, Sudan, to Aberdeen, Scotland, and back in Elsewhere, Home, a collection of 13 stories about belonging, human connection, and the complexities of leaving home. Though Aboulela’s subjects range in age and background, there’s a link: all of them grapple with homesickness, love, and assimilation. Aboulela addresses these themes through characters including Samra, a young woman who, while flying back to Khartoum, runs into an old classmate who once was a target of her...
  Black Is The Body: Stories From My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, And MineBy Emily Bernard(Knopf)      There are countless ways we feel connected to family. But one of the biggest is shared history. In Black is the Body, Emily Bernard explores her familial connections to the American South, Jim Crow, and rural, Black living by introducing readers to her roots. Bernard also draws her two adopted Ethiopian daughters into the narrative by analyzing her connection to Africa, her girls’ personal connections to Africa, and...
  The Hundred Wells of SalagaBy Ayesha Harruna Attah(Other Press) Ayesha Harruna Attah weaves a riveting portrait of pre-colonial Ghana in her novel The Hundred Wells of Salaga. The story revolves around two women whose lives are intertwined through the slave trade. Aminah, the daydreaming eldest child of a shoemaker, lives a stable life until her village is ravaged and she is forced into slavery. Wurche is the headstrong daughter of a chief, whose family directly benefits from the slave trade. Not wanting to be relegated to...
On Being 40(ish) Edited by Lindsey Mead(Simon & Schuster) The age of 40 is like a legendary beast that you never expect to meet. Yet everyone who is lucky enough to reach that birthday must grapple with the inevitable existential questions that it brings, along with the ever-encroaching awareness of mortality—one’s own and everyone else’s. How can time feel so long and yet so fleeting? What kind of lives do we want to live, and how do we live them while we can?  This anthology of well-written...

  From the first British paper catered to women to the sidebar of shame, The Daily Mail has a long and veeery complicated history with women. In the Mail’s first issue in 1896, its editor, Lord Northcliffe, went to great strains to show that this was a paper for both sexes and that alongside news the Mail would also contain sections dedicated solely to ‘women’s interest.’ ‘MOVEMENTS IN A WOMAN’S WORLD – THAT IS TO SAY, CHANGES IN DRESS, TOILET MATTERS, COOKERY, AND HOME MATTERS GENERALLY – ARE AS MUCH ENTITLED TO...
  When Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014 at age 86, the world lost a poet, professor, performer, and polymath who brought a sense of dignity and possibility to everything she touched. Think you “know why the caged bird sings?” Then take the quiz! 1. Born in St. Louis, MO, on April 4, 1928, Maya’s birth name was _______. Anna Mae Bullock Diana Ernestine Earle Marguerite Ann Johnson Jamesetta Peaches Hawkins 2. When Maya was seven, her mother’s boyfriend raped her, and when she told relatives about it, he was subsequently murdered. In the aftermath of the violence,...