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Books

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...
As International Women’s Month draws to a close, we are still missing our favorite First Lady, Michelle Obama. Here are 9 insightful quotes from Michelle herself to get us through life (or at least through the rest of the week), from Pocket Michelle Obama Wisdom: Wise and Inspirational Words from Michelle Obama. Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed. I want to be this really fly 80, 90-year-old. There are still so...
In what could have been an effective lesson on empathy and accepting differences, first-grade classrooms in North Carolina have instead been barred from reading Jacob’s New Dress, a book about a little boy who wears a dress to school. The book was supposed to be taught as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Instead, the North Carolina Values Coalition, a conservative group, complained and began to organize a petition — then, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools pulled the book. The coalition released a statement claiming the school system wasn’t performing...
Graphic novels can be a lot more complex than Archie. And in the vein of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, these four new graphic memoirs and graphic novels by women get deep. They tackle topics including Amy Kurzweil's grandmother's Holocaust survival story in Flying Couch; to what it was like for Cristy C. Road to grow up, as the subtitle says, "queer, Cuban, and punk in Miami" in Indestructible; to sexual violence in the '70s in Una's Becoming Unbecoming. Last but certainly not least, Dame Darcy's...
When it comes to teenagers and their attitude toward cunnilingus, there’s a substantial divide between real-life and fiction. This is real life:“He doesn’t go down on me...He doesn’t want to. And I’ve never asked.”This is fiction:“‘When I lick you,’ he said, ‘I want you splayed out on a table like my own personal feast.’”Real teenage girls voiced their experiences with sex in Peggy Orenstein’s 2015 New York Times bestseller, Girls & Sex — and according to the book, their voices weren’t being heard anywhere else. These girls,...
  The Animators is a novel about relationships--relationships with your friends, with your family, with the art you create, with yourself--and the amount of work that goes into maintaining each one. Sharon Kisses, the protagonist, is at odds with herself at the outset of the novel. A freshman in college, she’s quiet and reserved, the direct opposite of Mel Vaught, a girl in her classes who quickly becomes her best friend and creative partner. Ten years after the two first meet, she and Mel are on the...