Category: Nasty Women Writers

Sonya Renee Taylor: The Map Back to Ourselves

Since reading Sonya Renee Taylor’s book The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love and writing this post a little over a year ago, I have been keeping my finger on Taylor’s pulse, a pulse I value and need as I work to hold myself accountable and better understand systemic racism. (I highly recommend her recent TEDx talk Let’s Replace Cancel Culture with Accountability.) After Derek Chauvin was found guilty this past April, Taylor’s organization, also named The Body Is Not An Apology, stated on its Facebook page: “In @SonyaReneeTaylor’s second to most recent video, “Justice...

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5 Gifts From Ursula K. Le Guin’s Last Novel

Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin’s last novel, written in 2008 when she was 79 is a gift in many ways. Here I list 5. There are many more but hey, you gotta stop somewhere! Gift #1: If one is a writer, as they read this novel, they can consider themselves to be sitting at the feet of this literary giant, listening to her musings on writing as an art and practice, the creation of character and stories, and how, in some cases, the characters writers create come alive and begin to have minds and even lives, of their own....

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Morgan Jerkins: This woman is on fire! And we all get to benefit.

Morgan Jerkins is a woman on fire who we are all benefitting from. At 29 she has written and published three books, two nonfiction and one novel and in the highest compliment I would ever give anyone, I will say that her novel Caul Baby, published in April of 2021, reminds me of those of one of my all-time favorites: Toni Morrison. I felt such joy when I read the following because of that recognition and resonance: “There were cracks on all four corners of Maman’s bedroom, and they were hungry. Black, jagged, and deep, they resembled outstretched hands...

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Willa Cather’s My Ántonia: An Unusually Beautiful Read

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent reading of Willa Cather’s 1918 novel My Ántonia. There is something soothingly beautiful about it, in part due to the nostalgic quality the narrator, Jim, brings to the story. Jim is thinking back over his childhood, growing up the late 1800s on the Nebraskan plains and in the town of Black Hawk. He tells the story from his perspective, this perspective crafted by Cather, of course. A central figure in Jim’s past is Ántonia, an immigrant from Bohemia, a girl he grows up with and always admires and loves. Well, mostly. There are those...

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Cathy Park Hong (Korean American b.1976): Writing the Language of Change

Cathy Park Hong’s poetry is powerfully unique. In a reading I watched on YouTube, part of The Loft Mentor Series filmed in Minneapolis in 2014, Hong says that she likes to make up worlds and even languages. Her books are often stories of characters who inhabit these worlds with their own language. Her poems beg to be read or spoken aloud. Alive, they jump up off the page. For some it may be an adjustment to adapt to this form: the different language and alternate worlds. As a reader, this was a shift for me. I found I needed...

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