These tales, about politics, identity, love, and loss, cut to the core of the Russian psyche, even as they lay bare human universals. The abrupt shifts are disorienting and unsettling and Suah breaks boundaries, constantly, between recollection and memory, facts and fiction.
In the midst of a student uprising, a young boy is killed. His story and the events following the uprising are told in a series of narratives—each chapter from a different perspective: his best friend, his heartbroken mother, a factory worker, an editor facing down government censorship. Together these narratives form a fictionalized account of the South Korean Gwangju Uprising in Horrific and brutal, Human Acts is not for the faint of heart but it is so beautifully written.
Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists. Erika Kohut is a piano teacher at the prestigious and formal Vienna Conservatory, who still lives with her domineering and possessive mother. Her life appears to be a seamless tissue of boredom, but Erika, a quiet thirty-eight-year-old, secretly visits Turkish peep shows at night to watch live sex shows and sadomasochistic films.
A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. Sphinx is a landmark text in the feminist and LGBT literary canon appearing in English for the first time. A raw, heartrending novel of grief, loss, and returning home. A young woman, Emilia, returns to her rural hometown in Patagonia to scatter the ashes of her best friend who died by suicide five years earlier.
Written as if to her best friend, August is a nostalgic, complicated, and poignant confessional.
Emilia is baring her soul—but for any reader who has also left home, she feels dangerously close to baring ours too. A Syrian scholar working in Paris is invited to contribute to a conference on the subject of classic erotic literature in Arabic. The invitation provides occasion for her to evoke memories from her own life, to exult in her personal liberty, her lovers, her desires, and to revisit moments of shared intimacy with other women as they discuss life, love, and sexual desire.
Canada, translated from the French. This sets into motion a series of memories that move between the hazily defined present and the period three years ago when she first lived in Berlin. A novel of memories and wandering, A Greater Music blends riffs on music, language, and literature with a gut-punch of an emotional ending, establishing Bae Suah as one of the most exciting novelists working today.
Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Over the rainy, smoggy summer she decides to plant a vegetable garden in the courtyard, and as she digs the ground and plants her seeds, her neighbors in turn delve into their past.
Compassionate, surprising, funny and inventive, it deftly unpicks their stories to offer a darkly comic portrait of contemporary Mexico, as whimsical as it is heart-wrenching. From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed. In The Summer Book , Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.
Leo would spend the next five years in a coke processing plant, shoveling coal, lugging bricks, mixing mortar, and battling the relentless calculus of hunger that governed the labor colony: one shovel load of coal is worth one gram of bread. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future.
One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow—of tears, blood, money.
In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. Virginie Despentes is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and critic. If the buzz around her recently published books—including Bye Bye Blondie , Apocalypse Baby , and others—is any indication, Despentes is hot and only going to get hotter with this new release. Pretty Things is a lurid, pulpy story of family, death, and gender.
In Panty , when a mysterious young woman arrives in Calcutta and moves into a guest house, she finds in an otherwise empty wardrobe a soft and silky panty in leopard-skin print. She thinks the woman who wore it must have possessed a wild sexual nature. A feeling of companionship envelops her; the sexual lives of the two women begin to mingle and blur. In Hypnosis , another young woman—a TV journalist on perpetual night dutyhas an unconsummated but passionate affair with a famous musician that leaves her shattered. Looking for more?
As an immigrant, I came to poetry as a way of being home in English, in the United States. My parents had taught me to read in English my second language very young. I was a voracious reader—libraries were my home. Part of my time growing up, we lived in rural Georgia—the only family of color in a poor white community. My white teachers were threatened by me—and my ability to read. For reading ahead in assignments, they chastised and shamed me. From these experiences, at an early age, I connected language to power—and felt aware of my brown body. Of being marked as a brown girl.
I stepped back to observe the world and understand it through language. I am now working to step up and re-create the world—and my experiences—through language. Poetry is a way to re-vision our world, how we navigate it, how we live in it, how we expand in it. Poetry has helped me re-claim my voice, sense of self and to feel. Poetry enables me to decolonize. Do you seek out poetry by women and nonbinary writers? If so, since when and why? Yes—and yes.
Growing up, I loved the strangeness and compact power of Emily Dickinson. Students encounter her often, as I did. I felt connected to their vibrant shimmer, their boldness. In college, I finally experienced Asian American poetry. This opened worlds and made me aware of how limited education often is in this country. How so few of our stories are shared.
Project MUSE - Conrad's Erotic Women
And I deepened in understanding Dickinson from new vantages. Which is to say, my world continues to expand because of feminist artists: the work of feminists has been crucial to my writing and addressing our world. Their work—and community—inspires me and opens space for wonder and being. In South Asia, poetry is heard every day. People respond in conversations with poetry, sing it, share it.
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As part of our humanity and ways of being in the world. Poetry as life, as living. As a woman, and as a woman who writes, what do you need to support your work? I am the first artist in my family. Many artists in the United States, as recent studies show, come from lineages of wealth and whiteness. In my life, my college comradery with two other women poets made me a writer. My friend Gabrielle Civil, a Black woman performance artist, just published her second book as well! For creating!
Having a community of other artists and mentors who are women and folks of color has made all the difference.
One of my first poetry mentors was Thylias Moss. She gave me a bold vision for the possibilities of poetry—content, craft, aesthetics. My mind—blown. And when she signed one of her books for me, she foretold that one day I would be signing books for her. Her oracle from beckoned dream into reality. Art requires community—and resources. Our work would be more possible with funding for the arts and art production. And, fundamentally, a shift from capitalist cultures of production and the violences of capitalism would open space for art, connection, collaboration and community.
Or a writer works several jobs that pay in order to have the privilege to write, while earning small, symbolic fees and honorariums when lucky enough to publish.
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