- Women & Gender Studies
Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they holdSet at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding. Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together,...
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Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.
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Pym observed the intricate rituals of English life with a sharp but understanding eye. In THE SWEET DOVE DIED, Pym uncovers the sometimes troubling truths behind relationships. A chance encounter over a Victorian flower book brings together Humphrey, and antiques dealer, his nephew James, and Leonora. Although she is considerably older, Leonora develops a fondness for James all the while knowing Humphrey has feelings for her. Leonora is determined to keep James under her spell until she realizes that she has to contend with the bookish Phoebe. Then Ned, a wicked young American, appears on the scene.
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Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym's richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those "excellent women," the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors--anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door--the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.
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From the bestselling author of The Vagina Monologues and one of Newsweek's 150 Women Who Changed the World, a visionary memoir of separation and connection--to the body, the self and the world.
Playwright, author, and activist Eve Ensler has devoted her life to the female body--how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she has spent much of her life disassociated from her own body--a disconnection brought on by her father's sexual abuse and her mother's remoteness. "Because I did not, could not inhabit the body or the Earth," she writes, "I could not feel or know their pain."
But Ensler is shocked out of her distance. While working in the Congo, she is shattered to encounter the horrific rape and violence inflicted on the women. Soon after, she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and though months of harrowing treatment, she is forced to become first and foremost a body--pricked, punctured, cut, scanned. It is then that all distance is erased. AS she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully--and gratefully--joined to the body of the world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. This 50th–anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins.
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Unsuitable romance is the theme of this wickedly comedic novel. A series of entanglements brings together an odd assortment of characters - clergymen, university dons, naive students, and academic hangers-on - with hilarious results.
Dulcie Mainwaring, the heroine of the book, is one of those excellent women who is always helping others and never looking out for herself- especially in the realms of love. The novel has a delicate tangle of schemes and unfulfilled dreams, hidden secrets and a castle or two. Told wonderfully in the deadpan honesty that has become a Pym hallmark, this book is a delight.
This is Pym's poignant story of four elderly single people who work in the same office. Their work is their chief point of contact with each other and with the outside world. When the two women retire, the equilibrium of the quartet is upset. Quartet in Autumn is a gently compelling story of human dignity in the midst of hopelessness.
The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity. In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."
Selections from the “Until the Violence Stops” Festival
Featuring writings by Abiola Abrams • Edward Albee • Tariq Ali • Maya Angelou • Periel Aschenbrand • Patricia Bosworth • Nicole Burdette • Kate Clinton • Kimberle Crenshaw • Michael Cunningham • Edwidge Danticat • Ariel Dorfman • Mollie Doyle • Slavenka Drakulic • Michael Eric Dyson • Dave Eggers • Kathy Engel • Eve Ensler • Jane Fonda • Carol Gilligan • Jyllian Gunther • Suheir Hammad • Christine House • Marie Howe • Carol Michèle Kaplan • Moisés Kaufman • Michael Klein • Nicholas Kristof • James Lecesne • Elizabeth Lesser • Mark Matousek • Deena Metzger • Susan Miller • Winter Miller • Susan Minot • Robin Morgan • Kathy Najimy • Lynn Nottage • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy • Sharon Olds • Hanan al-Shaykh • Anna Deavere Smith • Diana Son • Monica Szlekovics • Robert Thurman • Betty Gale Tyson • Alice Walker • Jody Williams • Erin Cressida Wilson • Howard Zinn
This groundbreaking collection, edited by author and playwright Eve Ensler, features pieces from “Until the Violence Stops,” the international tour that brings the issue of violence against women and girls to the forefront of our consciousness. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of brutality, neglect, a punch, or a put-down. Here is Edward Albee on S&M; Maya Angelou on women’s work; Michael Cunningham on self-mutilation; Dave Eggers on a Sudanese
abduction; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother; and Sharon Olds on a bra.
These writings are inspired, funny, angry, heartfelt, tragic, and beautiful. But above all, together they create a true and profound portrait of this issue’s effect on every one of us. With information on how to organize an “Until the Violence Stops” event in your community, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer is a call to the world to demand an end to violence against women.
“In the current era, it takes some brain racking to think of anyone else doing anything quite like Ensler. She’s a countercultural consciousness-raiser, an empowering figure, a truth-teller.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Intimate and unexpected portrait of the popular Engish novelist, Barbara Pym, in her own words, gathered from journals and a selection of her letters to close personal friends.
An astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina—and consequently, how we understand women—from one of our most respected cultural critics and thinkers, Naomi Wolf, author of the modern classic The Beauty Myth.
When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain—and thus has a fundamental connection to female consciousness itself.
Utterly enthralling and totally fascinating, Vagina: A New Biography draws on this set of insights about "the mind-vagina connection" to reveal new information about what women really need, and considers what a sexual relationship—and a relationship to the self—transformed by these insights could look like.
Exhilarating and groundbreaking, Vagina: A New Biography combines rigorous science, explained for lay readers, with cultural history and deeply personal considerations of the role of female desire in female identity, creativity, and confidence, from interviewees of all walks of life. Heralded by Publishers Weekly as one of the best science books of the year, it is a provocative and deeply engaging book that elucidates the ties between a woman's experience of her vagina and her sense of self; her impulses, dreams, and courage; and her role in love and in society in completely new and revelatory ways sure to provoke impassioned conversation.
A brilliant and nuanced synthesis of physiology, history, and cultural criticism, Vagina: A New Biography explores the physical, political, and spiritual implications of this startling series of new scientific breakthroughs for women and for society as a whole, from a writer whose conviction and keen intelligence have propelled her works to the tops of bestseller lists, and firmly into the realms of modern classics.
If Jane Cleveland and Prudence Bates seem an unlikely pair to be walking together at an Oxford reunion, neither of them are aware of it. They couldn't be more different: Jane is a rather incompetent vicar's wife, who always looks as if she is about to feed the chickens, while Prudence, a pristine hothouse flower, has the most unsuitable affairs. With the move to a rural parish, Jane is determined to find her friend the perfect man. She learns, that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as housewifery...
Helga has more danger in her life than most beasts her age—Wrackshee slavers after her, a vicious attack by bandits that nearly kills her, a race against dragons pursuing her, and leading a daring rebellion against the insidious WooZan. A dangerous quest to solve mysteries in her own past leads Helga and her comrades on a journey that will forever change them, and upset ancient civilizations.Helga has more danger in her life than most beasts her age--Wrackshee slavers after her, a vicious attack by bandits that nearly kills her, a race against dragons pursuing her, and leading a daring rebellion to save her life and rescue friends and family from the insidious WooZan. And that is just the beginning. But what do you expect when you are a young beast who just can't see the stupid rules of the world making any sense? Helga can't accept things as they are and ends up taking on not just one, but two all-powerful, supreme tyrants in two different realms. Helga never intended to lead a revolution. It just sort of happened because she wouldn't go along with the "rules of normal" that keep tyrants in power and entire societies enslaved. Beginning on a dangerous quest to solve some mysteries in her own past, Helga leads her quirky comrades on a journey that will not only forever change them, but upset ancient civilizations. As an author, I'm drawn to eccentric, unexpected characters: those who surprise because they hear a distant galaxy, see a different music, create their own fragrance rather than get hooked on a soundtrack; the child who has her own ideas about how the emperor is dressed; the lunatics and rebels who tell stories on the boundaries. Helga's unusual story will take readers to worlds they never imagined--definitely a whole new ride.Time and again, the unconventional heroine and her eccentric comrades overcome ominous tyrants and black-hearted slavers, not by battling to the last beast standing, but by being the first beast to think differently. Helga: Out of Hedgelands is divided into three books which introduce the epic saga of the Wood Cow clan and their role in overturning centuries of slavery and tyranny. This story will continue in additional volumes of the Wood Cow Chronicles now in development. Over the series of current and future volumes, the entire history of the Wood Cow clan, the fall of Maev Astuté, and the coming of Lord Farseeker to the Outer Rings, will be told.