A personal and passionate story about making a world “that is nourished, healed, and flourishing.”

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COMING OF AGE IN A TIME OF RAGE AND REVOLUTION

The actor and director candidly discusses her turbulent personal evolution within a changing American society.

For Tamblyn (Any Man, 2018, etc.), America’s current “existential crisis and…questioning of its own values and future” is a manifestation of a new social awareness, especially where gender inequities are concerned. Drawing from her experiences in an industry infamous for its racism, sexism, and misogyny, the author traces the “ignition” of her own feminist consciousness. In 2008, the then-25-year-old author dreamed of creating a film version of the Janet Fitch novel Paint It Black. But in an industry that routinely snubbed the efforts of female directors, Tamblyn did not know how she could transform her dream into reality. The same year, she campaigned for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose efforts symbolized the ongoing female battle to break through the glass ceilings of power. In the difficult, rejection-filled years that followed, Tamblyn forged ahead with the attitude that if the mostly male creative decision-makers in Hollywood would not allow her to get a foot in the door, then she would “build my own goddamn house.” The author eventually succeeded in making a generally well-reviewed film and distributing it through a small woman-owned company. Just as Tamblyn began to feel empowered for her achievements, she witnessed Clinton’s second defeat, this time to a man who exemplified the toxic masculinity she spent so many years fighting against. In the aftermath, Tamblyn, now a mother to an infant daughter, became keenly aware of the impact misogyny had on the female body and mind, including her own, which suffered from lingering postpartum inflammation. She questioned her own privilege as a white female, embraced intersectional feminism, and co-founded Time’s Up, a movement dedicated to helping women “be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces.” Though prone to digression and occasional political overzealousness, the book offers illuminating insights into the changing face of feminism and the continued struggle to overcome the hardening lines of gender injustice.

A personal and passionate story about making a world “that is nourished, healed, and flourishing.”

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984822-98-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Review Posted Online: Jan. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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