Lauren always has at least two books in her bag and approximately 78 next to her bed and feels that the best books are the ones that make us feel anything strongly, even when it's uncomfortable. On the off chance that she is not reading, she can be found taking fast, purposeful walks (really, they are stomps) around Seattle or writing with exactly the right pen in a very specifically chosen notebook.
Reviews & Recommendations
Someone once said of Rachel Ingalls that she had a particularly jaunty way of writing about tragedy and this is so true it makes my teeth hurt. Mrs. Caliban is a love story between a lonely housewife and a sea monster who only recently escaped from the lab where he was imprisoned. She feeds him avocados (a heretofore unknown delicacy), he listens to her and makes her feel seen for the first time in years. It's campy, but also unexpectedly devastating: it made me think of all the things we turn away from, the deceptions that that make our lives bearable. It's a very lonely book to read, but in the best way possible--I still think about it.
Kate Zambreno has always been fascinated by the "wives and mistresses of great men," the women history has dismissed as crazy, toxic, or unworthy of legacy. This memoir/biography hybrid gives them their due in a way that feels transgressive and incredibly refreshing. Zambreno tells her own story alongside those of Zelda Fitzgerald, Vivienne Eliot, Lucia Joyce, and others to contextualize and provide evidence for the way women's voices are ignored, diminished, and stolen in literature and in life. Who gets to tell their story? And whose story gets believed? Both referential and the reference, Heroines is mesmerizing, compassionate literary criticism with bite.
This was such a welcome rebuttal to the deafening white noise of the mainstream feminist movement, the one that prioritizes personal success over systemic change and reinforces oppressive power structures. This straight-to-the-point manifesto posits the necessity of a feminism that is anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, anti-ableist, and anti-sexist—in other words, a movement that will make the world a better place for everyone. Reading it, I had to resist the urge to underline every single word.