Women’s Review of Books, vol. 29, no. 2: March/April 2012

When self settles down to start reading an issue of the Women’s Review of Books, she doesn’t just read:  she luxuriates.

Here are a few reasons why:

“Poverty, Gospel, Revolution,” a review by Martha Gies of The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman of Chiapas, Mexico:  Pass Well Over the Earth (University of Texas Press) by Christine Eber and “Antonia”

As a doctoral candidate in 1985, “Christine Eber made the first of a half dozen trips to Chiapas, Mexico to do fieldwork on her dissertation on the use of alcohol by Tzotzil Maya women . . .  When tourists went, it was to contemplate the glories of postclassical Maya architecture at Palenque’s well-manicured grounds or to brave the Lacandon rainforest’s steaming heat and buzzing insects for a glimpse of mysteriously beautiful archaeological sites of Yaxchilan or Bonampak.”  (Because self has read Rosario Castellanos, she knows the anguish of Chiapas.  Seven years after her first visit to Chiapas, Christine Eber interviews “Antonia,” one of the Tzotzil women she has befriended.  This book is Antonia’s story)

“The Index of the Mind,” a review by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell of The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America, by Kate Haulman (University of North Carolina Press)

The review begins:  “In eighteenth-century America, where not even the elite had extensive wardrobes, fashion choices were profoundly significant.”  How could one fail to be engaged?

“Real Books,” a review by Trish Crapo of Adios, Happy Homeland!, the new story collection by Ana Menendez (Black Cat), Greasewood Creek, by Pamela Steele (Counterpoint), and Birds of Paradise, by Diana Abu-Jaber (Norton)

Never mind what the reviewer writes about these three books:  suffice it to say, they are all lovely and well worth the purchase price!

There’s also a poem on p. 16, about living “In a House with Two Doors,” (by Sheila Squillante), and just reading the title gets self widely excited because — wouldn’t you know? —  Self lives in a house with two doors!

Here’s how the poem begins:

It’s always cold in a house with two doors.
The wind will sneak into a house
like that, cavorting like a bad-mannered
guest; long-drawn and drunk, nosing through
medicine cabinets, upstairs bedroom drawers.

In a house with two doors, take care
when you answer the bell. At the front
will be cookies for sale, floral deliveries,
and the quick blue smirk of the postman.
It’s fine to answer these bells in your bathrobe;
your neighbors won’t mind . . .

Self would strongly urge dear blog readers to purchase the Women’s Review of Books, March/April 2012 issue, to read the rest of this wonderful piece!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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