Book reviews by Alison Kent When I was approaching menarche in the early 1970s, I was informed about what was about to happen to me by my embarrassed mother, who thrust a wholly inadequate pamphlet into my hands, featuring irrelevant photos of long-haired white girls in flowing white dresses running blissfully through fields of flowers. It left me with more questions than knowledge, gaps I filled by talking to peers (who were often worse-informed than I was). Laura Szumowski’s book, Cycling: A Guide to Menstruation, states in the dedication, “For me when I was in the 4th grade, because… Read More
Only a few months ago, this would have been a straightforward review, but because of the Dobbs decision I feel this review must go beyond the book. I recommend My Mom Had an Abortion as a personal story for middle and high school.
Guest Book Review by Mae Czerwiec Author and illustrator Lili Sohn informs us in the introduction to her graphic novel (/memoir?) Vagina Love: An Owner’s Manual that she is “an artist, not a doctor”, and her work does not claim to provide comprehensive medical knowledge about the female* reproductive system. What it does well, however, is to take the reader on an adventure through topics often considered too taboo to discuss and makes learning about them fun. In her conclusion, Sohn writes that “each subject [she] introduced was like a door opening”, which is exactly how it feels… Read More
Book Review by Kevin Wolf Is Rebecca & Lucie an imaginative, invented adventure of a woman named Rebecca, on maternity leave with her eight-month-old daughter, Lucie Girard, and married to Pascal Girard, a hospital social worker? Or a true story? The back cover of this tale calls it “A maternity leave mystery that centers a new mother in all her post-partum glory!” Rebecca & Lucie—written by Pascal Girard, Quebecois French-Canadian; and translated by Aleshia Jensen—is a playful (except some mystery parts) tale dedicated to “a” Rebecca. Lucie (aka, Lulu) plays an endearing toddler. There are autobiographical aspects and a… Read More
Brighton conference presenter Rachel Abrams sends news: “I’m delighted to share news with you that my long-gestated project, Pins and Needles, about Gen X women navigating fertility, is finally up online and out in the world.” You can check out her new project site here: http://www.gotpinsandneedles.com
Paula Knight’s Spooky Womb is an excerpt from her graphic memoir in progress The Facts of Life, which was shortlisted for the Myriad Editions First Fictions Graphic Novel competition. In this excerpt, she very creatively (and nearly wordlessly) recounts her “interactions” with fertility, pregnancy, and loss via an anthropomorphized female reproductive tract. The three panel horizontal layout serves her narrative quite well, while varied background shading seems to reflect the diurnal and menstrual cycles. A skilled illustrator, Knight is able to convey a wide range of gesture and emotion from her visceral character, making one wonder which is the protagonist – uterus… Read More