In the Body of the World
By Eve Ensler
I have been exiled from my body. I was ejected at a very young age and I got lost.Playwright, author and activist Eve Ensler has devoted her life to the female body - how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she spent many years disassociated from her own - a disconnection brought on by her father's sexual abuse and her mother's remoteness.While working in the Congo, Ensler is shattered to encounter the horrific rape and violence inflicted on the women there. Soon after, she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and through months of treatment she is forced to become first and foremost a body - pricked, punctured, cut, scanned. It is then that all distance is erased. As she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully - and gratefully - joined to the body of the world.
By Jessica J. Lee
'The water slips over me like cool silk. The intimacy of touch uninhibited, rising around my legs, over my waist, up to my collarbone. When I throw back my head and relax, the lake runs into my ears. The sound of it is a muffled roar, the vibration of the body amplified by water, every sound felt as if in slow motion . . .' Summer swimming . . . but Jessica Lee - Canadian, Chinese and British - swims through all four seasons and especially loves the winter. 'I long for the ice. The sharp cut of freezing water on my feet. The immeasurable black of the lake at its coldest. Swimming then means cold, and pain, and elation.'At the age of twenty-eight, Jessica Lee, who grew up in Canada and lived in London, finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is there, ostensibly, to write a thesis. And though that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.This is the story of a beautiful obsession: of the thrill of a still, turquoise lake, of cracking the ice before submerging, of floating under blue skies, of tangled weeds and murkiness, of cool, fresh, spring swimming - of facing past fears of near drowning and of breaking free.When she completes her year of swimming Jessica finds she has new strength, and she has also found friends and has gained some understanding of how the landscape both haunts and holds us.This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using their body's strength, who knows what it is to allow oneself to abandon all thought and float home to the surface.
In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It
By Lauren Graham
Advice for graduates and reflections on staying true to yourself from the beloved Gilmore Girls actress and New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Talking as Fast as I Can and the novel Someday, Someday, Maybe."If you're kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don't worry about it. Even without any 'big' accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough." In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. "Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing is that you keep finding joy in what you're doing, especially when the joy isn't finding you." In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we've yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring-and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself-here is a comforting road map to a happy life."I've had ups and downs. I've had successes and senior slumps. I've been the girl who has the lead, and the one who wished she had the bigger part. The truth? They don't feel that different from each other."
By Asne Seierstad
One morning in October 2013, nineteen-year-old Ayan Juma and her sixteen-year-old sister Leila left their family home in Oslo. Later that day they sent an email to their parents. 'Peace, God's mercy and blessings upon you, Mum and Dad ... Please do not be cross with us...' Leila and Ayan had decided to travel to Syria, 'and help out down there as best we can'. They had been planning for months. By the time their desperate father Sadiq tracks them to Turkey, they have already crossed the border. But Sadiq is determined to find them. What follows is the gripping, heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart. While Sadiq risks his own life to bring his daughters back, at home his wife Sara begins to question their life in Norway. How could her children have been radicalised without her knowledge? How can she protect her two younger sons from the same fate? Åsne Seierstad - with the complete support of the Juma family - followed the story from the beginning, through its many dramatic twists and turns. It's a tale that crosses from Sadiq and Sara's original home in Somalia, to their council estate in Oslo, to Turkey and to Syria - where two teenage sisters must face the shocking consequences of their decision.
The Feminist Revolution
By Bonnie J. Morris, D. M. Withers
Oprah's book club has declared The Feminist Revolution a must-read for Women's History Month.The Feminist Revolution offers an overview of women's struggle for equal rights in the late twentieth century. Beginning with the auspicious founding of the National Organization for Women in 1966, at a time when women across the world were mobilizing individually and collectively in the fight to assert their independence and establish their rights in society, the book traces a path through political campaigns, protests, the formation of women's publishing houses and groundbreaking magazines, and other events that shaped women's history. It examines women's determination to free themselves from definition by male culture, wanting not only to 'take back the night' but also to reclaim their bodies, their minds, and their cultural identity. It demonstrates as well that the feminist revolution was enacted by women from all backgrounds, of every color, and of all ages and that it took place in the home, in workplaces, and on the streets of every major town and city. This sweeping overview of the key decades in the feminist revolution also brings together for the first time many of these women's own unpublished stories, which together offer tribute to the daring, humor, and creative spirit of its participants.
The Little Book of Feminist Saints
By Julia Pierpont, Manjit Thapp
'A beautifully illustrated tome honouring 100 exceptional women dating back to 630BC' RedA Stylist Must-read Book of 2018'This finely illustrated book is brimful of startling anecdotes about females who flouted traditional gender roles' Observer'Short, snappy and inspiring, these mini biographies celebrate women who headed out into the world determined to make a difference' Psychologies'Essential reading for anyone...this beautifully illustration collection...deserves to be framed in every woman's living room - an inspiration for any situation' DivaIn this luminous volume, New York Times bestselling writer Julia Pierpont and artist Manjit Thapp match short, vibrant and surprising biographies with stunning full-colour portraits of secular female 'saints': champions of strength and progress. These women broke ground, broke ceilings and broke moulds - includingMaya Angelou - Jane Austen - Ruby Bridges - Rachel Carson - Shirley Chisholm - Hillary Clinton - Marie Curie & Irene Joliot Curie - Isadora Duncan - Amelia Earhart - Artemisia Gentileschi - Grace Hopper - Dolores Huerta - Frida Kahlo - Billie Jean King - Audre Lorde - Wilma Mankiller - Toni Morrison - Michelle Obama - Sandra Day O'Connor - Sally Ride - Eleanor Roosevelt - Margaret Sanger - Sappho - Nina Simone - Gloria Steinem - Kanno Sugako - Harriet Tubman - Mae West - Virginia Woolf - Malala YousafzaiOpen to any page and find daily inspiration and lasting delight.
By Daphne Du Maurier
A beautiful hardback edition to mark the 80th anniversary of one of the best-loved novels ever written. A gothic tale of love, secrets and jealousy.WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY SARAH PERRY'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century, Rebecca has woven its way into the fabric of our culture with all the troubling power of myth or dream. A stunning book' SARAH WATERS'Her masterpiece . . . Seldom has a dead woman exercised such power beyond the grave. Rebecca will live for ever because du Maurier touches a fearful nerve, buried deep in the unconscious' Kate Saunders, The Times'A mesmerising novel which reveals more on each reading' Helen DunmoreLast night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never been out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young woman consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
In The Name of the Family
By Sarah Dunant
A Times Best Historical Fiction Book of the YearA Cosmopolitan Best Book of the Year A History Today Book of the Year'Dunant has made completely her own the story of the Italy's most infamous ruling family . . . in a way that we can see, hear and smell' Mark Lawson, Guardian'A stunning tale of power and family . . . In Dunant's telling of the Borgia story, Lucrezia is not the sluttish power-crazed poisoner of legend . . . her glorious prose makes her version irresistible' Antonia Senior, The Times'Stuffed with violence, danger and passion' Daily Mail Conjuring up the past in all its complexity, horror and pleasures, In The Name of the Family confirms Sarah Dunant's place as the leading novelist of the Renaissance and one of the most acclaimed historical fiction writers of our age.In the Name of the Family - as Blood and Beauty did before - holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father's plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.
On Smaller Dogs and Larger Life Questions
By Kate Figes
Coming up to her sixtieth birthday, Kate Figes found herself turning to the larger questions of family, love and life's meaning. It is like this author to examine different stages in writing, and her books - from new motherhood and adolescence to coupledom and infidelity - testify to this way of understanding herself and others: so naturally she turned to writing to explore the challenges of becoming sixty. And then - a horrible, and sudden diagnosis of breast cancer which had metastasised.Instead of a gentle journey into middle age, Kate Figes began to write for her life. Now, clawing back confidence and control was not just the ordinary business of these years: it was the only way to try and survive great pain and emotional turmoil. As her writing became an honest reflection on ageing, failing, regrets and the importance of childhood memory, friends, family and love she found a new determination to live to the full and about finding ways to face up to a shortened life expectancy with dignity.Original, passionate, funny and moving, On Smaller Dogs and Larger Life Questions will resonate with anyone dealing with the many griefs and freedoms of midlife. It is about living with a life-threatening disease but it is even more: an intelligent and passionate look at the way we can approach disappointment and trouble, friendship and love - every day.
What are We Doing Here?
By Marilynne Robinson
New essays by the Orange and Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gilead, Home and Lila. In this collection, Marilynne Robinson, one of today's most important thinkers - admired by President Obama, and so many others - impels us to action and offers us hope.Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Home, winner of the Orange Prize; and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson's peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call to continue the tradition of the great thinkers and to remake political and cultural life as "deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theatre of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still." In our era of rampant political and cultural pessimism, we run the risk of becoming bogged down in disillusionment and of losing sight of ways out of the mire. In What Are We Doing Here?, the incomparable Marilynne Robinson offers us balm: impelling us to action, but offering us hope.
By Rose Macaulay
Denham Dobie has been brought up in Andorra by her father, a retired clergyman. On his death, she is snatched from this reclusive life and thrown into the social whirl of London by her sophisticated relatives. Denham, however, provides a candid response to the niceties of 'civilised' behaviour. CREWE TRAIN is one of Macaulay's wittiest satires. The reactions of Denham to the manners and modes of the highbrow circle in which she finds herself provide a devastating - and very funny - social commentary as well as a moving story.This bitingly funny, elegantly written comedy of manners is as absorbing and entertaining today as on the book's first publication in 1967.
The World My Wilderness
By Rose Macaulay
It is 1946 and the people of France and England are facing the aftermath of the war. Banished by her beautiful, indolent mother to England, Barbary Deniston is thrown into the care of her distinguished father and conventional stepmother. Having grown up in the sunshine of Provence, allowed to run wild with the Maquis, experienced collaboration, betrayal and death, Barbary finds it hard to adjust to the drab austerity of postwar London life.Confused and unhappy, she discovers one day the flowering wastes around St Paul's. Here, in the bombed heart of London, she finds an echo of the wilderness of Provence and is forced to confront the wilderness within herself.
Patricia Highsmith: The Complete Short Stories
By Patricia Highsmith