Chanelle Benz’s debut collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, is filled with characters often facing a moral crossroads. The stories contain the unexpected, like a classic Western complete with local brothel as well as a gothic tale. Benz’s writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Guernica, The American Reader, and Granta.
Over at Lit Hub, Bridget Read discusses the gender politics of Tinder, the rise of the Single Woman, and how these phenomena have permeated recent nonfiction by women: It makes sense that independence would be their chosen frontier, the pursuit of solitude their manifest destiny. The ability to be alone has long been the provenance […]
Essayist Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s obsession with author photos leads to authorial reflections on gender, representation, and what writers owe the public in “Occupy Author Photo: On Elena Ferrante, Privacy, and Women Writers” at The Millions. Starting with her own experiences and branching out to Mary Oliver, Sarah Howe, and eventually Elena Ferrante, she calls for […]
“Funny Women” submissions don’t read themselves. Most of the time Assistant Regional Funny Woman Katie Burgess reads them (she wrote the infinitely funny “How to Read a Poem,” anthologized in Oxford University Press’s Humor: A Reader for Writers, and has since gone on to read slush). Katie, now Editor-in Chief of Emrys Journal, wants women and gender nonconforming writers to […]
This column has been on hiatus since the springtime and I’m happy to be back. I’ve been reading so much—mostly books by women—this summer. While I’ve been away, I’ve been thinking about gender more than ever, if you can believe that. I’ve also been hanging out with some younger women, observing their strengths, and appreciating […]
Ferrante’s novels about women like Lila and Lenu are a potent reminder that working-class women’s perspectives are out there, even if we can’t always hear each other, even if we’re sometimes embarrassed and alone, even if we feel exasperated by a system that valorizes experiences and credentials that we can never claim. At VIDA, Valeria […]
Readers are shifting focus from outdated gender expectations and conceptions of identity, and as a result, complex, non-compartmentalized female friendships are blooming in fiction. Books about these friendships are spaces for female writers and readers to explore the complexity of their relationships and selves without the influence of men, whose presence can quickly turn a […]
Most of these sites were beloved exactly for that same dual sense of security and inclusion members loved — and when that sense was lost, from time or toxicity or something else, the woman who made them moved on to another new place. For The Hairpin, Julia Carpenter writes about the community spaces women have carved for themselves […]
Many poets—male poets especially—are secretly anxious that someone will call their poetry a frivolous, feminine pursuit. And instead of embracing the potential charge of frivolity—allowing themselves to be free of it or even to toy with it—those same poets draw lines in the sand with real-and-serious-capital-P-Poetry on one side, and lesser, feminized poetry on the other. For […]
Writing as art can be what economists call a “non-market” activity. The time we spend writing poems or novels, like the time we spend doing laundry, is usually time not spent earning a dollar, even if we hope to see payment for that work down the line. But unlike domestic work, it can be difficult […]
For Lenny Letter, Alexis Coe writes on the gendered politics behind book acknowledgements, including acknowledgment of emotional labor, research, and the expectations behind praise for female and male partners.
Over at Lit Hub, Anne Boyd Rioux discusses the literary genius of the 19-century novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson, and the American tradition of “the diminution of women writers” that continues today: Woolson’s literary star faded quickly after her death in 1894, a time of shifting literary tastes. With the advent of literary modernism, her work […]
Can women really have it all? Like, all of it? But how could they possibly have multiple things at the same time? How can they even think human thoughts after they’ve subsumed their corporeal selves into an all-encompassing prison of motherhood? For Lit Hub, miraculous hybrid mother/writer Diana Abu-Jaber explains that art and babies aren’t […]