By Kim Adamski
It’s the middle of summer break, and you are running out of ways to keep yourself entertained. You can only go to the beach/movie theater/park/ice cream shop so many times, right? Well, summer is also the perfect time to catch up on some pleasure reading that you didn’t have time for during the academic year. Today, I have rounded up a variety of feminist writings just for you. Bored no more!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche details the journey of a fictional character, Ifemelu, as she moves from her home in Lagos, Nigeria to the United States. She makes observations on race, gender, and class in America and compares them to Nigeria as she gradually learns to navigate American culture. The novel is semi-autobiographical.
The Handmaid’s Tale is actually one of my favorite books of all time, by one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood. It is by no means a recent publication – it was first published in 1985. The plot centers around a woman in a future dystopia, in which women are valued only for their capacity to reproduce. It’s kind of a cross between 1984 and The Giver (although not as bad as the latter).
If you haven’t read Fun Home, you need to get on that as soon as possible. Author Alison Bechdel (after whom the Bechel Test is named) has created a graphic coming-of-age memoir masterpiece about her complicated relationship with her father and her discovery of her own sexuality.
I have not yet read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, but I have heard so much about it that I may just go home and read it right now. The book gained a lot of attention for being banned at several schools for discussing teenage sexuality, depression, race, and other “controversial” topics. Sigh. Don’t we all know that banning a book just makes more people want to read it?
Speaking of controversy, it is likely that you have heard of the film Blue is the Warmest Color, which has been criticized (and admired?) for its lengthy lesbian sex scene, or maybe for its lengthiness in general, as its run time is over three hours. You may not know that the movie is based on a graphic novel of the same title about teenage love between two girls. The author of the book intended for its story to help de-marginalize queer youth and legitimize homosexual relationships.
There you have it – some quality reading material to fill the short time left until returning to school and drowning in academia. Unless, of course, you are a women’s studies major or minor like myself, in which case the above will be more like a summer supplement to your classwork. It’s exhausting to major in patriarchy-smashing, isn’t it?
Kim Adamski co-hosts a public affairs show on WHUS called Full Frontal Feminism with DJ KBham. Find more information on their Facebook page, facebook.com/fullfrontalfeminism.