I bought Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford when I was in the city a week or two ago and consumed it overnight. Online reactions have been similar: ‘I couldn’t put it down’; ‘two days and I was done’ etc. Fight Like a Girl is the perfect book coming at just the right time, as the discourses on issues of gender equality, feminism, intersectionality and others are arguably gathering momentum. But, really, what I also mean by ‘right time’ is one at which a woman needs a sense of solidarity and hope, and this also Ford provides. I enjoy her work – and legacy – she’s created on such websites as Daily Life, but it was a particular pleasure to see similar themes and arguments laid out in longer form.
I’m only the first forty or so pages into The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke and can already see how it too is an essential text. One of Clarke’s many talents is her powerful storytelling; if you’ve seen her perform her poetry, you’ll be familiar with how she draws in an audience with her language and it is no different on the page.
Sisters of the Revolution, edited by Ann and Jess Vandermeer, was one of the chance library finds I love (and love to talk about!). New-ish (2015), it is a collection of:
Feminist speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more) chosen by one of the most respected editorial teams in speculative literature today, the award-winning Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. Including stories from the 1970s to the present day, the collection seeks to expand the conversation about feminism while engaging the reader in a wealth of imaginative ideas.
This is an area I’ve wanted to ‘fill in the blanks’ – so to speak – of my reading experience. It contains the names you’d expect – Angela Carter, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia E. Butler – but I wanted to discover new writers. The first story is ‘The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.’ by L. Timmel Duchamp. Wow. It’s available to read on her website. Do it. That’s a taste of how good the book is.
What are you reading this month?