This is a series of reviews of my favorite books published between 2010 and 2019. These are shorter reviews of good reads published in 2017. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik (2017) Four women friends go on a whitewater-rafting adventure trip, but an accident leaves them lost in the Maine backwoods, where they run into … Continue reading Favorite Books of the 2010s: Quick Takes of 2017 Novels
I have three short books by women with enticing covers to share with you today. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: This was a quick read with short chapters, set in Lagos by a Nigerian author, with underlying themes of loyalty to family, abuse, and the shallowness of men who "only want a … Continue reading Recent Reading
I'm hoping to get back into more or less regular blogging by highlighting some of my favorite reads, both on- and offline. When I was a teen, The Breakfast Club was a favorite among my set of friends. My girlfriends and I had a choice of dreamy bad boy or dreamy jock for crush material--no one thought … Continue reading Reading: Molly Ringwald Revisits “The Breakfast Club”
You may think Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit's short collection of essays (including the one that helped spawn the term "man-splaining"), is necessary reading for women, and you'd be right. But it's also a great read for all creative types. When I first started reading these essays, I felt angry. That's okay; I'm used … Continue reading Recommended Reading: Men Explain Things to Me
Just posted a new essay: But is she alive? Gillian Flynn and the “unlikable” female character
I try to define gothic fiction and why I love it so much: Gothic horror: We’re all mad here | Noir Femme
I discuss a less brutal and, I think, more realistic approach to the post-apocalyptic novel in this essay.
This essay also discusses Into the Forest (Jean Hegland; 1996);A Gift Upon the Shore (M.K. Wren; 1990); and Always Coming Home (Ursula K. Le Guin; 1985), among various other stalwarts of the post-apocalyptic sub-genre. There will be spoilers for these books.
Pop quiz, hotshot. It’s the apocalypse: What do you do? What. Do. You. Do?
If hundred (thousands?) of post-apocalyptic books and movies are to believed, you break out your cache of automatic weapons, gun down every guy you see, capture a woman and lock her in a cage for later, then chow down on some roasted baby.
There is a certain amount of wish fulfillment going on there. The apocalypse novel is one part fear, one part fantasy. All the rules are suddenly gone; you can do whatever you want! It’s a dim view of humanity that assumes that all people want to do is murder, rape, and…
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Yes, I’ve started a new blog project called Noir Femme. This one is kind of a sister project to Sci Femme, about women writing horror and dark fiction, as opposed to science fiction. But before I could get started on the reading, I had to identify (for myself, anyway) exactly what horror is. Here’s my stab at it.
Horror has one goal: to disturb. To remind us that we don’t have all the answers. To explode our illusions of being in control.
There may be monsters or the supernatural, but there doesn’t have to be.
There may be blood, gore, and guts, but there doesn’t have to be.
There may be psycho killers running around with axes, but again, it’s not necessary.
Horror can be, and often is, scary, but more important is a lingering feeling of unease, a delicious sensation of being unsettled.
The best horror takes place in our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. The best horror shatters the comfortable little worlds we’ve constructed for ourselves. It pulls back the veil and reveal the things in the shadows. Horror helps us understand exactly how insignificant we are in a vast, unknowable universe.
It reminds us that we are animals, and sometimes we are monsters. It reminds us…
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