Women’s Review of Books, July/August 2013

Below, a sampling of the more interesting reviews from the most recent issue of the Women’s Review of Books:

  • “Wages for Housework,” a review of Sex, Race and Class:  The Perspective of Winning:  A Selection of Writings, 1952 – 2011 by Selma James — The review was written by Kate Weigand.  It made self want to read these two other feminist books:  The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan and A Woman’s Place, a “chronological collection of James’s writings.”
  • “Pursued By Hounds,” a review of Marmee & Louisa:  The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother, by Eve LaPlante —  The review was written by Martha Saxton.  Based on newly discovered material, the book “fills out the poignant and sometimes distressing story of the powerful love, mutual dependency, identification, and shared disappointments that united mother and daughter during the family’s most difficult years of poverty and turbulence and indeed throughout their lives.”
  • “Passionate Strangers,” a review of three new novels by women:  Homesick, by Roshu Fernando, The Third Son, by Julie Wu, and The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen.  —  The review was written by Women’s Review of Books regular contributor Trish Crapo.  Fernando’s book chronicles the lives of Sri Lankan immigrants in London, “at the cusp of the year 1983,” Wu’s is about a young boy victimized and chastised by his own family, and Jakobsen’s is about a father and daughter who live on a tiny island whose only other inhabitants are a priest called “Priest” and a magician called “Boxman.”
  • “Writing and Remembering,” a review of The Generation of Post Memory:  Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust — The review was written by Rochelle Ruthchild.  The book’s author, Marianne Hirsch, the William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, “seeks to reconceptualize the field of memory studies.  She distinguishes between history and memory” and argues that “the presence of embodied and affective experience in the process of transmission . . . is best described by the notion of memory as opposed to history.”
  • “The Chick Slicks,” a review of Jennifer Nelson’s Airbrushed Nation:  The Lure and Loathing of Women’s Magazines —  The review was written by Andi Zeisler, who says the book’s subtitle (“lure and loathing”) “perfectly sums up the perfumed cloud of feeling that overtakes me at an airport newsstand when I’m trying to choose between Vogue and Marie Claire, only to curse myself as I buy both.”

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