INDELIBLE IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS by Shelly Oria
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INDELIBLE IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS

Writings From the Me Too Movement
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-944211-71-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: McSweeney’s
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019