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Books To Watch Out For publishes monthly e-letters celebrating books on various topics. Each issue includes new book announcements, brief reviews, commentary, news and, yes, good book gossip.

More Books for Women
covers the finest in thinking women's reading, plus mysteries, non-sexist children's books, and news from women's publishing. Written by the owners and staff at Women & Children First, and friends.
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The Lesbian Edition
covers both lesbian books and the whole range of books lesbians like to read. It covers news of both the women in print movement and mainstream publishing. Written and compiled by Suzanne Corson.
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The Gay Men's Edition
announces and reviews new books by and about gay men as well as other books of interest and gay publishing news. Written and compiled by Richard Labonte.
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Books for Women

- April 2007 -
Volume 3 Number 4

Spring is one of the big seasons in publishing each year, and our reviewers are excited about many of the new books that have been recently released. From memoir, feminism, and spirituality to travel, novels, and animal tales, we're sure you'll find several titles to add to your reading pile and/or give to friends and family who love to read. Happy browsing!

    Suzanne Corson
    Books To Watch Out For

Ann Christophersen enjoys...

I loved Barbara Ras's first volume of poetry, Bite Every Sorrow (who could not love that title…), which was awarded both the Walt Whitman and Kate Tufts Discovery Awards. I am equally taken with her newest volume, One Hidden Stuff, also extremely well-received by other poets as well as those who, like me, just like to be dazzled by the heights and depths a fine poet - and no one else - can take them. Her first poem in the collection, "Rhapsody Today," soars with hope and possibility, its opening phrase, "Maybe today," echoing throughout the poem and well beyond the last line. The second, "Remorse the Color of Lavender," is more painful than exhilarating, as the "namer of paint colors" calls "Terror the color of many people, all of us on our knees, begging for our lives." Such is Ras's emotional range. Although there is plenty of room for one's own memories and musings to pulse among the many images she creates, Ras is also very skillful at leading you down paths she wants you to travel. Her tools, of course, are language and form, and she uses them to great emotional and intellectual effect. Penguin, $16, 9780143037859.

Sara Paretsky is beloved by readers across the country for creating V.I. Warshawski, her inimitable hardboiled woman detective. First appearing in Indemnity Only, V.I. is the heroine of 11 subsequent mystery novels, each one of them presenting new challenges for V.I. as she unravels the threads of dangerous and complex situations. There are also challenges for us readers as we follow our way through beguiling plots, both artfully constructed and provocative in their political underpinnings. Paretsky's new book, Writing in an Age of Silence, is nonfiction, a collection of essays, some delivered in part or in whole as lectures at one of the many public forums she has been invited to speak at over the years. In these essays, she traces V.I.'s earliest beginnings and how her character began to take form as she herself struggled to find her own voice as a writer. The story of that struggle is very compelling. Paretsky is intimate and revealing as she writes of herself as an outsider from a very young age, a Jew among Gentiles, a girl in a house of boys, a child called too early to adult roles. We are also privy to the development of her political consciousness, her coming of age during the civil rights movement, and finding her roots in second-wave feminism. One feels her passion for justice, for the rights of women to control their bodies and their lives, and for the preservation of democratic principles and practices. As I read this book, I felt privileged to have been invited into the complex interior of this woman's life and mind. I also found myself powerfully moved. Verso, $22.95, 9781844671229.

Linda Bubon is inspired by...

Poster Child by Emily Rapp is a darkly comic, achingly honest memoir written in a unique and fresh voice. Rapp was a P.K. (preacher's kid) who, at age four, lost her left foot due to a congenital birth defect, and after numerous surgeries over the next four years, lost most of her leg. She writes unflinchingly of her twenty-year journey to acceptance. This is a very personal, not political, story, and it's only recently that she's understood the need for and her place within the disability rights movement. The title refers to her year as a March of Dimes Poster Child, a weird, only-in-America trip if there ever was one. It is also a spiritual memoir, of the path from "childhood pieties to adult faith and a confession that will resonate with anyone who spent their youth overcompensating for whatever reason" (Kirkus starred review). Bloomsbury, $23.95, 9781596912564.

I've recently fallen madly in love with a dog (Desi, part Lab and part pit bull, black with a white tux chest), so The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine was right up my alley, reassuring me that dog love is quite normal. This is a delightful, light but not shallow, novel about an interesting mix of folks who live on a particular block in NYC, close to Central Park, whose lives intersect as they walk their dogs. Jody is a music teacher, single at 39, which she decides makes her officially a spinster, the recent owner of a huge white lab (almost pink) whom she adores. She gets a crush on Everett, a rather anal engineer whose bland face transforms into blindingly handsome when he smiles. Polly and her brother are 20-somethings who find a puppy left in the closet of a man who committed suicide in Everett's building. Polly takes the dismal apartment largely because of the puppy, and, well, it is rent-controlled. The soul of the block is Jamie, who owns the best café, is gay and garrulous with a handsome partner, five adopted children, and two Cairn terriers. Dogs are allowed in the restaurant, and the terriers sleep under the bar. And then there's Doris, 60-something, stylishly dressed and made-up in orange pancake, and on a tear to get all these filthy dogs off the street, and certainly out of the only good restaurant on the block. Wry, charming, full of plot twists and surprises, The New Yorkers is a perfect weekend escape - especially if you're a dog lover. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, $24, 9780374221836.

Sometimes I fear that no new strongly feminist (not post-feminist) will get published to continue the much-needed national dialogue about women in the workplace, equality, and the still shameful lack of parent support. But this month there are two fabulous new books!

Ellen Bravo, former director of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, brings us Taking on the Big Boys: Or Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business, and the Nation. Endorsed by Robert Reich and Howard Zinn, applauded by Jane Fonda and Barbara Ehrenreich, Bravo's book reveals the continuing inequities in the workplace and offers practical, doable solutions. This will be a terrific book for women's studies classes, and I can only hope that policy makers and captains of industry will read it. I predict it will have working women back on the barricades, where we need to be to continue this revolution. The Feminist Press at CUNY, $15.95, 9781558615458.

Appealing directly to women who are considering dropping out of the workplace in order to spend more time with their families, Leslie Bennetts, journalist and a longtime contributing editor to Vanity Fair, offers The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much? Bennetts writes that she was inspired to write this book because of the current "public glorification of stay-at-home motherhood and the failure of the media and other analysts to warn women about the risks of sacrificing their financial independence." With chapter headings "Who Says It Doesn't Work? 'It Can Be Done'", "It's the Money, Honey 'God Bless the Wife Who's Got Her Own'", and "But What About the Children? 'You Know What? I Think My Kids Really Benefited!'", this book is going to hit women where we really live. Full of Bennetts' excellent research with economists, legal scholars, and sociologists, and hundreds of working moms like herself, this book is must reading for women wondering if the challenge of working and parenting is worth it. Hyperion, $24.95, 9781401303068.

Book I'm Most Compelled to Read After Reading the Intro: Kinfolks Falling off the Family Tree: The Search for My Melungeon Ancestors by Lisa Alther (Kinflicks, Other Women and others). I confess to not having thought about Lisa Alther in some years, but I thoroughly enjoyed her comic novels of the 80s and early 90s, and now can't wait to read about her genealogical search which led her to research the Melungeons, about whom all she was told as a child was: "six-fingered child snatchers who live in caves." Descended from either Turkish or Portuguese sailors and/or escaped slaves who mated with Native Americans in the Appalachians, the Melungeons are more than myth. Alther's lost none of her wit or punch; I'll let you know next month just how much I enjoyed this book. Arcade Publishing, $25, 9781559708326.

Chelsey Clammer is reading...

Previous to Teresa Rodriguez, Diana Montane, and Lisa Pulitzer's outstanding new nonfiction account of the Juarez femicides, only one book has ever been published in English that has attempted to shed light onto the horrific murders (and that book was fictional). The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border is perhaps the most important political book to come out this year. In the past 12 years, over 400 women have gone missing in the border town of Juarez, Mexico. Most of the desiccated remains of the young women's bodies have been found in the desert, their bones and clothes showing signs of multiple brutal rapes and murders. Not only has the media not picked up on this story, but it is also suspected that the local government is involved in the kidnappings, rapes, and murders. Why does no one care about the hundreds of missing Mexican women? If the setting of this case were in small town USA, there is no doubt that more people would know about the murders. The Daughters of Juarez courageously details some of the victims' family members' stories, as well as reports on the number of people who have been suspected of involvement in the crimes. If there is one nonfiction and politically feminist book that you read this year, this has to be it. Simon and Schuster/Atria Books, $24, 9780743292030.

Part memoir, part historical and cultural account of polio, and with a feminist and political pulse beating steadily through every page, Anne Finger's memoir Elegy for a Disease is an informative and beautiful account of one woman's journey through the affects of polio. Due to a vaccine that was created in 1956, the number of persons with polio has dramatically decreased in the past 50 years. Any person under 20 may not even know what polio is, or how it affects the body. And this is how Finger opens her memoir, by having to describe to someone half her age why her body looks and acts the way it does. In the disability rights world, Finger is well known for her poetic and creative works of fiction. Returning readers of Finger will not be disappointed by her leap into the realm of memoir. New readers of Finger will instantly be engaged by her wonderful style, as she relates what it is like to live her life. For anyone interested in the history of polio, or a wonderful account of what a lived experience of disability is like, Elegy for a Disease is a wonderful combination of both. St. Martin's Press, $25.95, 9780312347574.

Angelique Grandone recommends...

Almost all of the books I've read recently have led me to another book in a similar vein. I thought it would be fun to present them together, as this is a time of such abundance in the literary world (March and October are always high holidays around here, with long-awaited titles arriving daily and author events every other night). They span a pretty broad spectrum (no pun intended) and hopefully you will find something, or two somethings, you might like.
     I really wanted to dislike Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. I did. See, for the past six months there have been flocks of women coming into the store, earnestly pressing this book into the hands of their friends. Insistently. With much laughing and nodding. This book had all the signs of a chick-lit fad that I planned to steer widely around. And then I went to Santa Fe with my best friend - both of our lives have unraveled in unexpected ways, and we decided that the only thing that might help would be green chiles and endless sky. I brought this book along since I kept being asked if I had read it.
    In Santa Fe, my friend read Eat, Pray, Love and then berated me for continuing to make her read books that make her cry in public. She then informed me that it was exactly what she needed to pull herself together and that if I knew what was good for me, I better read this book, right now.
    So I dropped everything and started reading. And found that it is actually good - profoundly good. Elizabeth Gilbert has written a book that is both heartbreaking in its compassion and hysterical in its honesty. Gilbert discusses the gruesome demise of her marriage, the whirlwind affair to follow, and discusses her disillusionment with the expectations she has placed upon her life so far - and from which she is now subsequently fleeing. She gives one of the most charming descriptions of God I have read since Anne Lamott. The incremental awakenings come via 108 installments divided equally between Gilbert's time in Italy, India, and Indonesia as she slowly pieces herself back together using generous helpings of pasta, awareness, and of course, love. For those of us wanting to walk away from a structured but unhappy life in search of something more real, this candid, honest, and remarkable story is just the kind of primer to both inspire and focus those efforts. Penguin, $15, 9780143038412.

The other book I brought to Santa Fe was Michelle Morano's Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain, a great companion piece for those who loved Eat, Pray, Love, and are now looking for something that could possibly continue that kind of journey. The essays that compose the loose but intentional narrative are well crafted and draw us deeply into the new world that Morano creates for herself while teaching in Spain, with glimmers of the life she left behind. Her new friends are charismatic, cosmopolitan, and as in love with Spain as she. Grammar Lessons offers a glorious celebration of Spanish culture and language and a fascinating comparison of the limitations and permissions of grammar. University of Iowa Press, $22.50, 9781587295300.

Sometimes I just need funny. Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him by Patricia Marx is a hilarious romp through the quasi-academic, whole-heartedly obsessive mid-twenties of a wayward woman; she will make you roll with laughter. Pursuing her Masters at Cambridge, our unnamed heroine losses both her virginity and her focus within the first semester to a first-class cad and proceeds to pine, obsess, and otherwise amuse the reader as she tries to find her way into a relationship with this man who shows only the most trifling signs of interest. Marx, whose credentials include being the first woman writer at the Harvard Lampoon and a staff writer for Saturday Night Live, knows funny, but even more satisfying is her prose: Marx tosses around 25-cent words like rice at a doomed wedding, and the balance she creates between all this high-brow language and pedestrian humor is a delicious contrast. By the end, when our Lothario gets his due, I was sore from laughing and felt a lot better about my own travails. Scribner, $24, 9780743296236.

If the family from Little Miss Sunshine were private investigators a la Veronica Mars, you might have something like The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. This first novel starts with a car chase and never slows down, propelling the reader through Bay Area scenery in pursuit of, well, everyone. This family of private investigators knows no boundaries and will employ any means necessary (wiretaps, padlocks, broken headlights) to maintain their own privacy, often to hilarious effect. The main plot follows Isabel Spellman, our 28-year-old protagonist who, after a long and rebellious youth, has finally decided to use her finely honed PI skills for the family good (as opposed to neighborhood pranks) only to find herself questioning the ethics of her newfound path. Meanwhile we are treated to a host of other family antics, including Uncle Ray's "lost weekends," brother David's mysterious affair, and a dentist named Daniel who wrecks havoc on the family dynamic (almost as much as they wreck havoc on him). When Isabel has finally had enough, her parents agree to let her out of the business if she will take on one last case. But of course, there's a catch, and it leads to a surprise ending to one of the most satisfying books I have read in years. (Rumor is, it’s going to be a series; I can't wait!) Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781416532392.

I have a weakness for coming-of-age novels, and there are two new ones that will be added to my all-time-favorites list. The first, The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle, is an incredible literary debut that left me breathless. Twelve-year-old Alice Winston's life takes a dramatic and fateful turn the day her older sister Nona quits high school to run off with a rodeo cowboy. Alice and her father are left to manage the family business of showing horses while her mother hides upstairs. Shortly thereafter, a classmate drowns, her father takes on a privileged new student, and Alice makes a new friend, one to whom she can tell anything. But nothing is as it appears, and Kyle masterfully moves us between the truth, lies, and longing of Alice's life, creating a haunting story of family, community, and the West. Kyle writes with powerful and evocative language, with great detail devoted to both the internal and external landscapes, creating an incredibly taut and nuanced read. Scribner, $25, 9781416533245.

By contrast, Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead is a stark and haunting story of one boy's journey to find his father on the battlefields of the civil war. (I realize that this makes it neither written by or about women, but it is heart-stoppingly well written, and was a fascinating companion book to The God of Animals due to their similar themes, so I wanted to give it a nod.) Robey Child has never ventured far from the mountain he has been raised on, but at his mother's request (if you can call trance-like insistence a request) he sets off with little more that an old mare - and his mother's cryptic warnings - on what will become a life-defining journey. Along the way he acquires a horse so majestic it becomes both his doom and his deliverance. Olmstead's prose is lyrical and dark, evolving with the boy's growing awareness of the land and its inhabitants, as he ventures deep into the American South. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $23.95, 9781565125216.

Mary Ellen Kavanaugh is moved by...

Magdalen Rising: The Beginning by Elizabeth Cunningham is a marvelous Spring read - this fictionalized account of the child/adolescent Mary Magdalen is such a lovely women-centered tale. Reading it put me in mind of reading Mists of Avalon one Spring many years ago. While this book is the prequel to The Passion of Mary Magdelan, it is only recently released and promises to be the first story in the Maeve (rhymes with brave) Chronicles. Young Maeve, raised by eight women on the fictional Celtic island of Tir na Bham, is among the first class of young women to be admitted to Druid College. There she learns to wield and contain her vast powers as the men around her learn to acknowledge the presence of women in their sacred grove. There, she also develops her deep relationship with Esus, the young Jew from Galilee who has also been accepted into the college. Their love story is deeply woven into Maeve's coming of age as her own woman, watched over by the elder women of the isles. The character of Maeve is indeed engaging, and for me tapped into some internal archetypes in a way which provided sweet and moving dreams while I was in the reading of the book. Magic, wisdom, the power of words, good old-fashioned storytelling, and humor abound. Monkfish, $24.95, 9780976684329.

Carol Schaefer's Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for our Planet (with a Foreword by Winona LaDuke) provides 13 narratives of the 13 elders who first came together in 2004 and named themselves the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers for the purpose of sharing their healing vision and messages. Each had known, since she was a girl, that she would be called upon to do this work - that she was one of the "… Grandmothers from the four directions [who would] come together to speak, [to indicate that] a new time is coming." The story of how these women came together is inspiration in itself, outdone only by the individual stories of the 13 grandmothers and what they know and are now sharing with all of us. Do not read this unless you are prepared to be deeply moved and find more than a glimmer of hope about the way forward. Trumpeter Press, $18.95, 9781590302934.

The next time you and your friends are discussing the state of our country and sink into that despair that these times invite, I want a little voice in your head to say "Um, I think I remember reading about a new book that Riane Eisler (of The Chalice and the Blade fame) wrote that provides an outline for a new economic way of being and how each of us can help move the country towards that." Then, rush home to read that book! It's The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics. I nearly missed hearing Eisler speak at Amazon Feminist Bookstore because, well, economics? Who wants to listen to that, and what was she doing writing about economics anyhow? Whoa - glad I showed up. And she is the exact right person to be speaking about economics - an economics that challenges the old forms which only value certain kinds of work and relationships and people - the economics of the dominator model. Her vision of an economics of a partnership system is both more interesting and more equitable. Economics that value structures of linking (rather than hierarchy), mutual respect which reduces fear and violence (rather than abuse based on fear), equal valuing of male and female and especially of caring/empathy/caregiving (rather than valuing men over women), and beliefs and stories that highly value cooperation (rather than stories that glorify rugged individualism or power over others). There is a plan here. And it benefits all of us. Looking at this book in tandem with Grandmothers Counsel the World (above) has me feeling quite optimistic and not at all afraid of the work before us - after all, our elders have offered a path. The Real Wealth of Nations, Berrett Kohler, $24.95, 9781576753880.

For someone who is not part of an organized religion and still pretty much has a knee-jerk reaction to just about anything connected with organized religion, I am a huge fan of the public radio program "Speaking of Faith" hosted by Krista Tippett. I listen, well, religiously. And I am always touched and moved by Tippet's choices of guests (running the gamut from Anne Lamott to Thich Nhat Hanh) and intrigued by her enormously thoughtful questioning. Viking Press has just released her memoir of the same name. Speaking of Faith is, like the radio program, carefully organized, thoughtfully laid out, and honest in its inquiry. While acknowledging that the book looks primarily at the three monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam because her life is grounded in her Christian upbringing, she also acknowledges early on that "Spiritual questions don't go away, nor does a sense of wonder and mystery cease, in the absence of a belief in God. Non-religious people are some of the most fervent seekers of our age, energetically crafting lives of meaning." It is this kind of thoughtful acknowledgement of all ways of being that brings me back to her show week after week and also makes this book so inviting. Penguin, $23.95, 9780670038350.

Suzanne Corson suggests...

Four friends - an author/customer service consultant, an entrepreneur, a California state senator, and a journalist - who have met for a decade to share "kitchen-table coaching sessions" have collected what they've learned in This is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways To Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down. Their "women in transition" kit includes exercises and tools for everything from managing misfortunate events and managing a great mistake to understanding money and learning to live with change. Quotes from famous women and cartoons are peppered throughout this useful book by Deborah Collins Stephens, Michealene Cristini Risley, Jackie Speier, and Jan Yanehiro. Conari Press, $19.95 hardcover, 9781573243056.

We are promised "subversive stories about sex and gender" in The James Tiptree Award Anthology 3, and editors Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, and Jeffrey D. Smith definitely deliver. This collection, inspired by the awards which honor James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), includes pieces by authors as varied as Aimee Bender, L. Timmel Duchamp, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Vonda McIntyre. Favorites of mine include "The Glass Bottle Trick" by Nalo Hopkinson, Dorothy Allison's essay "The Future of Female: Octavia Butler's Mother Lode," and "Have Not Have" by Geoff Ryman, an excerpt from his 2005 Tiptree Award-winning novel Air. (His Wizard of Oz-inspired novel Was is an old favorite of mine. Hopefully someone will bring it back in print soon!) I also enjoyed the introduction by editor Jeffrey D. Smith, in which he discusses the history of the Tiptree Awards and how they've evolved over time. Tachyon Publications, $14.95, 9781892391414.

New in Paperback

At Risk, Patricia Cornwell, Berkley, $7.99, 9780425214763.
Eat the Document, Dana Spiotta, Simon & Schuster, $15,     9780743273008.
Intuition, Allegra Goodman, Random House/Dial, $13, 9780385336109.
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Ayelet Waldman, Random     House/BDD/Anchor, $13.95, 9781400095131.
The Madonnas of Leningrad, Debra Dean, Harper Perennial, $13.95,     9780060825317.
Malinche, Laura Esquivel, Simon & Schuster, $13, 9780743290357     (available 4/17).

For the Kids

Recommendations from Linda Bubon

Adult novelist and children's book writer Jacquelyn Mitchard has added to her repertoire with a suspenseful teen novel, Now You See Her. Written in the first-person voice of Hope, a successful teenage actress who has been kicked out of a prestigious performing arts academy for faking her own abduction, the novel is a great example of the use of the unreliable narrator. Hope is a good actress, a most convincing one. I think teen readers will be as surprised as I was at the conclusion of this often funny and finally touching novel. HarperCollins, $15.99 hardback, 9780061116834.

It's been a long time since I picked up a YA galley and read it straight through because the language, plot, and characters were so compelling, but Trenton Lee Stewart had me on the edge of my chair with The Mysterious Benedict Society. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl in its gothic creepiness, precise language, and unusual characters, this book begins with a mysterious ad that appears in the newspaper: "ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNTIES?" Four children are finally chosen, after passing a series of cleverly designed tests, for their unique giftedness. They then go undercover to a gifted academy that is training children to deliver subliminal messages for an evil genius trying to take over the world. The two boys and two girls are fabulous, sympathetic, interesting characters, and the challenges presented to them are fun for bright readers to figure out. There are many twists and turns and aha! moments right up to the exciting conclusion. This is a winner for bright 10-year-olds up to adults. Little, Brown, $16.99 hardback, 9780316057776.

From Angelique Grandone

Featuring an elephant named Gerald and a pig named, appropriately, Piggy, Today I Will Fly! and My Friend is Sad are the latest offerings from the inimitable Mo Willems. Many young people will recognize Willems's characteristic minimalism and humor from his much loved Pigeon books, but this latest pair is geared at the four- to six-year-old crowd. Today I Will Fly focuses on the optimism of Piggy, who is determined to fly and learns a valuable lesson about asking for help and proceeding beyond the doubts of Gerald. In My Friend Is Sad, Piggy dons various guises to attempt to cheer his gloomy pal Gerald, only to have Gerald become even more upset because his friend Piggy isn't there to share the fun! Charming, funny, and sweet, these two books are a welcome addition to the early-reader shelves and are sure to be classics. Hyperion Books for Children, $8.99 each, Today I Will Fly: 9781423102953, My Friend is Sad: 9781423102977.

Out of the Egg, written and illustrated by Tina Matthews, is a retelling of the well-known fable The Little Red Hen, but with a twist. In this story, the industrious little red hen who gets no help from her neighbors has a little red chick with a mind of her own. This great, read-aloud, picture book parable about planting seeds and good deeds will be perfect for Spring. Houghton Mifflin, $12.95 hardback, 9780618737413.

Multimedia Takes On Our Authors

The Year of Magical Thinking¸ a one-woman play by Joan Didion, based on her bestselling memoir of the same name, is now playing at the Booth Theatre in New York. The play is directed by David Hare and stars Vanessa Redgrave. Ticket information:

Video producer Jennifer Abod has created a video based on Cynthia Rich's book Look Me in the Eye. The video features Rich, Mannie Garza, and Janice Keaffaber discussing ageism and activism. For more details:

Watch S. Bear Bergman read from Butch Is a Noun (reviewed in MBW #17):

2005 Orange Prize winner Lionel Shriver was profiled by the New York Times:

See mystery writer Laura Lippman's recent appearance on CBS's The Early Show to discuss her new book What the Dead Know:

Elaine Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels) discusses her new book on Judas, co-written with Karen L. King, on Salon.Com:


The 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced. Formerly known as the Orange Prize for Fiction, this award honors a full-length book of fiction written in English by a woman of any nationality. Here is the longlist of nominees:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
Clare Allan, Poppy Shakespeare
Rachel Cusk, Arlington Park
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
Patricia Ferguson, Peripheral Vision
Margaret Forster, Over
Nell Freudenberger, The Dissident
Rebecca Gowers, When to Walk
Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Jane Harris, The Observations
M. J. Hyland, Carry Me Down
Lori Lansens, The Girls
Lisa Moore, Alligator
Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost
Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves
Deborah Robertson, Careless
Rachel Seiffert, Afterwards
Jane Smiley, Ten Days in the Hills
Anne Tyler, Digging to America
Melanie Wallace, The Housekeeper

The winners of the 2007 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards, voted by the owners and staff of American Booksellers Association bookstores "recognizing those titles independent booksellers most enjoyed handselling during the past year," are:
Adult Fiction: Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen     (Algonquin)
Adult Nonfiction: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on     Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (Knopf)
Children's Literature: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf)
Children's Illustrated: Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paul Kahumbu; photos by Peter Greste (Scholastic)

This year's National Book Critics Circle Awards winners include Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss (Atlantic Monthly Press) for Fiction and Julie Phillips for James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon (St. Martin's Press) in the Biography category. See for more information and the complete list of winners.

Naomi Alderman, winner of the 2006 Orange Prize for New Writers, just won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award for her first book, Disobedience, in a unanimous decision. The award includes a £5,000 prize, presented to the author at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Previous winners of this award for writers under the age of 35 include Sarah Waters and Zadie Smith. For more information:

Justine Larbalestier is the recipient of the Popular Cultural Association's 2007 Susan Koppelman Award for her book Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. This award is given for the best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in feminist studies in popular culture.

Elizabeth Alexander won the inaugural Jackson Poetry Prize sponsored by Poets & Writers magazine. This $50,000 prize honors "an American poet of exceptional talent who has published at least one book of recognized literary merit but has not yet received major national acclaim. The award is designed to provide what all poets need - time and the encouragement to write." Alexander is the author of four books of poetry: American Sublime (Graywolf Press, 2005), The Venus Hottentot (Graywolf Press, 2004), Antebellum Dream Book (Graywolf Press, 2001) and Body of Life (Northwestern University Press, 1997). She has also published a collection of essays, The Black Interior (Graywolf Press, 2003).

The Kiriyama Prize "recognize(s) outstanding books about the Pacific Rim and South Asia that encourage greater mutual understanding of and among the peoples and nations of this vast and culturally diverse region." The finalists for the 2007 Kiriyama Prize, mostly women this year, are:
The Inheritance of Loss by Kirin Desai (Grove Atlantic)
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip     Gabriel and Jay Rubin (Knopf)
Stick Out Your Tongue by Ma Jian, translated by Flora Drew (FSG)
Certainty by Madeleine Thien (Little, Brown)
Behold the Many by Lois-Ann Yamanaka (St. Martin's/Picador)

The Haiku Apprentice by Abigail Friedman (Stone Bridge Press)
Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes     (University of Arizona Press)
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build     Nations by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Viking)
Tigers in Red Weather: A Quest for the Last Wild Tigers by Ruth Padel     (Walker & Company)
Chinese Lessons: An American, His Classmates, and the Story of the     New China by John Pomfret (Holt)

Calls for Submissions

Seal Press seeks literary essays by and for mothers about "women who are striving to make the world a better place for children and families: both their own and other women's, domestically and globally" for the forthcoming anthology The Maternal is Political, to be edited by Shari MacDonald Strong. Essays should be between 2,000-5,000 words, and the deadline is June 1, 2007. For submission details and more information, visit

Off Our Backs: The Feminist Newsjournal is seeking articles between 500-2,000 words for an upcoming issue on "Feminisms and Cultures." The deadline is June 15, 2007; guidelines and submission instructions can be found online at

We hope you've enjoyed this issue of More Books for Women.

We'll be back next month with more reviews from this Spring's best books. Until then, we appreciate your support and are grateful for your assistance in spreading the word about Books To Watch Out For.

With thanks,

Suzanne Corson
for Books To Watch Out For

© 2007 Books To Watch Out For
Graphics © Judy Horacek

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