I’m a little late to the game but finally got around to reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s detective mystery series published under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. The novel follows detective Cormoran Strike and his temp secretary Robin Ellacott as they investigate the suspicious suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. One of the major themes of the book is exploring different experiences of being black in England, engaging in race relations with a nuance often lacking in the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also steps up her disability representation by featuring a protagonist with a prosthetic leg but at the same time seems to make backward progress in her portrayal of women.
I’ve mentioned the Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks several times before, and now with season two of the TV show tentatively predicted for Summer 2017, I decided it was time for a re-read. I chose to start with book 2 of the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, because that is where the TV show starts from. Published in the 1980s, Elfstones stands apart from many high fantasy epics by featuring two prominent female characters. Amberle and Eretria, while both involved in a love triangle with protagonist Wil Ohmsford, present two very different notions of femininity in a genre that often lacks any representation at all. But can they be said to be feminist characters? Continue reading Women of Shannara: A Feminist Look at Amberle and Eretria
If you’ve read some of my previous literary analysis posts, you know there is always that feminist voice in the back of my mind while I read, critiquing the novel’s treatment of women. While this may dampen my enjoyment of some works, it helps me to be a more engaged and aware member of society. So how do you train yourself to start analyzing the feminist merit of a book? It comes from asking a series of questions while you read. You can also adapt these questions to check for representation of other minority groups as well, such as LGBTQ, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. Continue reading Feminist Questions to Ask Yourself While Reading
Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day as well as the “Day without a Woman” protest arranged by the organizers of the Women’s March. March as a whole is also Women’s History Month. In honor of these events, I thought I would share with you lovely readers some of my favorite female activist authors. Some were authors first, some activists first, but all deserve to be celebrated. Continue reading Daily Geekette’s Favorite Activist Authors
The new epic fantasy on everybody’s lips is the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, not least because of its recent association with musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda will act as creative producer of Liongate’s new film, TV, and video game franchise based on the books. This fact and the recommendation of a dear friend was all the convincing I needed to start book one, The Name of the Wind. Yet while the writing is beautiful and the plot is enticing, I am disappointed to say this book had a distinctly un-feminist tone. Continue reading Feminist Literary Analysis: The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
From Boston to New York to Washington, D.C., many of the Geekettes attended Women’s Marches last Saturday. And wherever we go, our love of reading goes with us! Books can be transformative, introducing readers to new ideas and perspectives. So that’s why we decided to ask the people we met at the march about feminist books that impacted their lives. Here are some of our results: Continue reading Reads of the Resistance: What Books Inspired the Women’s Marchers
On Tuesday, Oct 25, Marvel author Chelsea Cain tweeted that she was facing online harassment, and deleted her Twitter account early the next day. Cain is an established novelist and writer of the Marvel series Mockingbird. Most of the harassment centered around a tweet she had made earlier last week about the comic’s cancellation, saying “We need to make sure @Marvel makes room for more titles by women about women kicking ass” and the cover for the 8th issue, which featured Mockingbird wearing a shirt that says, “Ask me about my feminist agenda.”
J.K. Rowling has long been writing strong female characters who embody the principles of gender equality, but until now she hasn’t officially referred to any of them as feminists. In Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, which was released as e-book only as part of a Pottermore Presents series on September 6, everyone’s favorite Transfiguration teacher became the first Harry Potter character to be dubbed on paper by her creator as a feminist. Continue reading J.K. Rowling Isn’t Afraid of the F-Word–McGonagall Officially Dubbed a “Feminist”
As the only book in my Sci-fi classics post that I hadn’t actually read, Dune by Frank Herbert was at the top of my reading pile as I embarked on Sci-fi summer. While I cannot deny that the world-building is excellent and that it helped establish many tropes of its genre, I remained highly conscious of the complex and problematic depiction of women throughout my reading.
Calling all goths and steampunks: I’ve found the latest 19th-century murder mystery to appeal to your historical little hearts. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly takes place in turn-of-the-century New York City, where Jo Montfort is being groomed to be the perfect high-society lady. Yet Jo wants more to life than marrying the rich and handsome Bram Aldrich as her family expects her to. She would rather be a reporter, although she knows that is hardly a suitable occupation for a well-bred lady. But when her father dies under dubious circumstances, Jo’s penchant for exposing the truth gets personal. Full of action, romance, a little grave-digging, and strong feminist themes, These Shallow Graves is definitely a worth-while read. Continue reading Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly