When you’ve been writing for long enough, or once you’ve read enough how-to books for writers, you start to notice just how similar all the “different” advice you’re getting sounds. In Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative, veteran writer Chuck Wendig has crafted an irreverent guide to the one thing every writer should be striving for: how to tell good stories.
Han Kang, Min Jin Lee, and Crystal Hana Kim have given us their own unique glimpses into the Korean peninsula’s history and present, but few novels of South Korea have gone to so dark a place as Ancco‘s semi-autobiographical work, Bad Friends. This brief, striking vision of South Korea’s early Sixth Republic presents a side of the country rarely seen in the West, one driven by alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.Continue reading
I was in my senior year of college before I learned to spot the widespread vilification of vulvas and vaginas. In reading Swedish artist Liv Strömquist‘s graphic novel, Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva vs. The Patriarchy, I relived every emotion and thought I had at the moment of realization. For feminists looking to renew and refocus their fury, it’s hard to beat Fruit of Knowledge as light reading. Continue reading
In their new graphic memoir about her life growing up in Iraq, Brigitte Findakly and her husband Lewis Trondheim shed light on the interior lives of middle-class Iraqis under Saddam Hussein’s rule in the mid-20th century. Poppies of Iraq does for 1970s Iraq what Persepolis did for 1970s Iran, putting a human face to stories tainted in the West by orientalism. And eventually, like Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi, Findakly moves to France to escape the political upheaval of her home country. Continue reading
There are plenty of great puberty books out there for young people with vaginas. Helloflo: The Guide, Period.: The Everything Puberty Book for the Modern Girl is not one of them. Written by HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom and stamped with her company branding, The Guide, Period promises to be a fantastic addition to a pre-teen’s arsenal of body-awareness books, but it simply doesn’t deliver. Continue reading