This book is an excellent collection by women who create -- be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry, spoken word, pPOWERFUL. INSIGHTFUL. AMAZING. AWESOME.
This book is an excellent collection by women who create -- be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry, spoken word, photography, performance art, graphic novels, etc. These essays, poems, photo collections, performance pieces, etc. address the pervasive issue of women+self-destruction+creativity, whether or not they've lived through something awful or relate to something women experience in their lives. Every selection provided something profound, to me, and every author sparked my interest in their other works.
What can I say, I collect quotes like a lepidopterist collects butterflies, so here you go:
p.10 - Preface - "It seemed to me that the friends and artists I felt this magnetic resonance with all had this sort of fire inside. Like Icarus, we had this strange fascination with how far into the light one could go and still come back. But we rarely spoke of these things, because we didn't need to. We had done it. We had lost control of our lives at some point, and visible or not, it had left a mark."
p.31 - Lady Lazarus: Uncoupleting Suicide and Poetry - "I felt it [depression:] like a dark wave, its shadow looming from miles above. Sooner or later, the crest would curl like a fist, crushing me below."
p.33 - "A notebook is an amazing confessional, a breeding ground, a nonjudgmental wailing wall, a home to build with your brain for every gorgeous, glimmering thing that can slip into words. It can hold some of the ugly that spills out when it's all too much."...more
I've got to say that this book ultimately surprised me, and rather exceeded my expectations. I sort of expected another 'woe is I' teenage story whereI've got to say that this book ultimately surprised me, and rather exceeded my expectations. I sort of expected another 'woe is I' teenage story where everything comes out perfectly perfect in the end. And yet I still picked it up to see if that would be the case.
I think if I were going from the cover while perusing a bookstore's shelves, I would absolutely skip this one for the mere picture of some beautiful, white, blond teenage girl who claims she's 'ugly'.
BUT, these suppositions were bowled over, one by one. Enter verbally abusive father who takes pleasure in calling Terra's mother fat and pointing out the mistakes in what she's eating, etc; who saves 'destroyer' moments for telling Terra her face will never be fixed, and people will always laugh at her, and so on. Enter Terra, beautiful in every way, except she's got a port-wine stain birthmark covering one side of her face, and it has come to define her and take over her life, in most respects. Her mother never stands up for herself against her father's harsh words, but profusely apologizes in eternal defeat, and Terra feels protective of her mother, but also just wants her father to be placated so he'll stop. She's into art (her father tells her that her 'collages' are hardly art), she has a boyfriend who is embarrassed when her birthmark isn't covered in layers of make-up (but she thinks he's as good as she'll ever hope for), and her friends and others tell her she can 'fix her face,' she should be happy with Erik (the boyfriend). She feels like every aspect of her body, and her life, must be perfect in order to compensate for her face, and hopefully so that people won't notice her face. Then enter Jacob and Norah, Chinese goth kid with cleft lip (who gets Terra more than anyone ever has), mother who only wants to hang out with Terra's mother (who unfolds from her cocoon).
I really liked that no one was outwardly 'fixed' in the end, and that the discoveries and healing and empowerment really came from within. You don't see that play out too often in these teenage beauty-focused novels, and I think it presents an excellent message: Normal people can be normal and awesome at the same time, even if they have some flaw that they've allowed to crush their self-confidence. ...more
My interest in this book came from the description on the back, making it appear to be a post-apocalyptic, futuristic story. Upon reading it, I discovMy interest in this book came from the description on the back, making it appear to be a post-apocalyptic, futuristic story. Upon reading it, I discovered that that assumption was way off base, and that the actual plot moves inside of some crazy guy's head, while he's actually doing bad things in reality-life. All in all, it wasn't my thing. It didn't make enough crazy sense to me, and sort of felt like the book only gave the middle and the end of the story. What the f*** happened? and what exactly was the point? Since I can't answer either of those questions, I can't give it any higher rating than the "it was ok" mark. At least it was short!...more
I had never read the actual story of Alice in Wonderland, and only had Disney's cartoon version to play back in my head. Prompted, I suppose, by a fewI had never read the actual story of Alice in Wonderland, and only had Disney's cartoon version to play back in my head. Prompted, I suppose, by a few different things: Tim Burton movie coming out in March, finding a free for-donation copy (obviously worn with love) with the illustrations and everything at work, and seeing a movie on Netflix, Phoebe in Wonderland -- I felt the urge to read the book.
As one can imagine, it didn't take me long, and I was surprised at how different the Disney movie was from the book (I know, naive!). The first book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is fairly similar, but Through the Looking-Glass was all kinds of different, and wonderfully strange and imaginative! For myself, I don't care about what "the story could really mean" or whatever overly-zealous English Literature Theorists and Critics do to analyze a book, I just felt in the story like a child, in the moment, in all its strangeness and beauty. And the poetry that runs rampant in it is really great (a big one left out of the movie).
Also, the introduction about Lewis Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was really interesting. To get his pseudonym, he did something like translate his name into Latin, then translate it back into anglicized English. Anyway, if you haven't read it, or think you're too old for such silliness, just indulge and give it a couple hours of your time. ...more
Sappy, schmultzy, overly sentimental . . . just a few words to describe this novel. It's what I think of when people want a "beach read", or somethingSappy, schmultzy, overly sentimental . . . just a few words to describe this novel. It's what I think of when people want a "beach read", or something akin to "chick lit". That being said, I did, in fact, read the whole thing. There was something in the descriptions of the setting, the development of at least the main character, that kept me interested. Wells' descriptions of this small, thoughtful riverside town of La Luna, Louisiana, actually made me interested in going to the south and seeing those huge plantation houses, the trees blooming with flowers and figs and pears, and just the very "Southern" ways of these people (minus the negative parts, of course). I didn't read "Ya Ya Sisterhood", but I loved the movie, and I can see this being a decent movie once you cut out the sappy, schmultzy, overly sentimental dialogue and crap. ...more