By, for and about

An international womenâe(TM)s day special

| March 8, 2007

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IN CELEBRATION OF womenâe(TM)s voices and in support of womenâe(TM)s struggles, this international womenâe(TM)s day, the book lounge rounds up 11 of its favourite offerings by, for and about women.

Plus ça bitch
9 reasons to like Bitchfest
Bitch Magazine, that sassier than sassy "feminist response to pop culture" is celebrating a decade of bitching with a new anthology Bitchfest. With an introduction by Margaret Cho and new pieces to beef up the chapters, Bitchfest is smart, honest, in-your-face and sure of itself. Consider "bitch" reclaimed. >by Jennifer O'Connor >cultural criticism

Typecasting
Press employs a detached voice that veils considerable extravagance of the imagination
n K.I. Press's Types of Canadian Women, Volume II, women may turn into men, or bears, or crows which eat livers; they may be followed by a "white chain of lunatics," may "learn to mourn with [their] elbows in pudding sauce." They frequently dress in white, the better to smear themselves with dirt and berries. Yet Press has delivered something true to our felt sense of the past. >by Maggie Helwig >poetry

Natalie Fuentes: girl detective
A mysterious excerpt from Strange Times at Western High
Sixteen years old and the new kid at school, Natalie Fuentes would like nothing better than to avoid attention. But before making it to even her first class, Natalie witnesses a brutal attack by a masked stranger on the schoolâe(TM)s janitor and soon befriends his son as she pieces together what exactly is going on at Western High. >by Emily Pohl-Weary >excerpt

d'bi.youngâe(TM)s revolution
With this first written collection of her dub poetry, d'bi.young makes her mark permanent
The publication of d'bi.young's art on black is one of those community milestones you wait for. And young is one of those artists you see around over the years and want to watch where she's going to go, because you know she's always going somewhere, and it's going to be an interesting place. With this collection of works old and new, she takes readers along for the ride. And it's a thrill. >by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha >poetry

Ladies, start your engines
Itâe(TM)s time to drive global change for women âe" but where are those directions again?
The editors of Defending Our Dreams: Global Feminist Voices for a New Generation have captured an impressive breadth of experience and perspective from young women around the world. The book critiques Nepal's anti-trafficking laws; links HIV prevention with sexuality education; examines communication technologies by feminist organizations across the globeâe¦ But a roadmap to action it is not. >by Jenn Watt >global feminism

Buried in Baghdad
What a novel and a war diary shouldn't have in common
The protagonists of both the novel Naphtalene and the war diary Baghdad Burning speak in young, assertive female voices that describe life in Baghdad; they have that much in common. But thanks to the U.S. war machine, weâe(TM)re now compelled to discuss all books by Iraqi women, regardless of their context, under the dismal light of Rumsfeldâe(TM)s red glare. >by Rahat Kurd >IRAQ 2006

Previously loved
A sampler of Canadian lesbian lit
The editors of No Margins tell us that the impetus for this collection of lesbian fiction was a conversation with an unnamed bookstore owner who believes âeoethat Canadian fiction is currently being defined by lesbian writers.âe What might this mean? There is this truth to celebrate: Canadian lesbian fiction of the 1980s and the 1990s has been a bridge, arching its readers toward an opened space in our imagination. >by Beth Follett >fiction

Browngirlworld
Raw truths, border crossings and high-femme rebellion
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a busy woman. The 30-year-old U.S.-raised, Toronto-based queer Sri Lankan writer is also a spoken-word artist, activist, event organizer and teacher. After 7 years of work on it, her first book, Consensual Genocide, has arrived. In this candid interview, Leah speaks with novelist Elizabeth Ruth about telling raw truths, brown-girl border crossings, mixed-race journeys and high-femme rebellion. >by Elizabeth Ruth >interview

A porn of one's own
These women know what they want, but whether or not you'll enjoy reading about it is hard to say
There are no euphemisms in the new anthology With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. The sex scenes are full out and raunchy (sometimes bordering on too much information.) Also, no matter who they are having sex with âe" and the stories feature a cast of butches, femmes, trans folk and boys âe" the women know what makes them hot and aren't shy about getting it. >by Jennifer O'Connor >erotica

Phys ed
The women's health manual that sparked a movement gets a full work up
When the Boston Women's Health Collective set out, 35 years ago, to write a comprehensive women's health guide that valued the experiences of women, little did they know they would spark a movement. With this newest edition, Our Bodies, Ourselves has been substantively reworked for the realities facing women today. And just in time. >by Kathleen O'Grady >health

Show and tell
A new graphic novel deals with one woman's struggle to leave an abusive relationship
A new graphic novel, Dragonslippers, deals with one woman's struggle to leave an abusive relationship. Its author, Rosalind B. Penfold, joins in a new tradition, carved in ink by artists before her, of tackling the painful, the horrifying, and the gruesome in graphic-narrative form. >by Jane Henderson >graphic novel

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