Not just candid and clear revelations of abuse, but powerful demands for justice.

INDELIBLE IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS

WRITINGS FROM THE ME TOO MOVEMENT

Fierce voices and muscular writing help contextualize the diversity of the #MeToo movement.

Edited by Oria (Fiction/Pratt Institute, New York 1, Tel Aviv 0: Stories, 2014), this short collection of essays, poems, and stories provides deeply personal perspectives on sexual harassment and gender-based violence. All of the contributors challenge assumptions and expose what Hafizah Geter calls “the bruises of patriarchy.” Amplifying the voices of survivors, the collection offers humor and power alongside trauma and pain. Samantha Hunt delivers a harrowing assessment of inherent dangers women face; Caitlin Donohue pens a letter of warning offered to her younger self (“Keep hold of your physical form. It is tangible proof of that which they say is theirs and must never be”); Honor Moore offers 17 brief entries exploring pervasive violence and a journey toward empowerment; Elissa Schappell chronicles an editor’s uncomfortable emails attempting to elicit a rape story. Throughout, thoughtful interrogations address how intersecting oppressions impact sexual violence and how behavior, from hinted threats to actual harm, may cumulatively wreak havoc, twist perceptions, and haunt survivors. Readers will connect with these narratives from trans women, women of color, and queer women, among others, confronting the invasive, cruel edges of misogyny and multiple forms of oppression. The contributors leave nothing unexamined, picking up complex themes of trust, self-destruction, forgiveness, and evolving notions of sexual assault. Examining the complicity of silence, internalized sexism, negotiated safety, childhood abuse, repeat offenders, and other issues, the pieces describe moments that add up to a potent cultural portrait of systemic, gendered hostility. As awareness of sexual violence continues to grow, this anthology functions as an empowered testament and treatise, a book for anyone interested in social justice. This important feminist work belongs on campuses and in community conversations. Other contributors include Melissa Febos, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and Karissa Chen.

Not just candid and clear revelations of abuse, but powerful demands for justice.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-944211-71-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: McSweeney’s

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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