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rowena

Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Orientalism
Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color - Cherríe L. Moraga, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Toni Cade Bambara Without getting too personal, I have to admit I grew up with identity issues.I guess most women of colour living in the West do have such moments, especially seeing as how we are under-represented in many areas of society. Not only that, we also have to contend with stereotypes and being caught between cultures. As such, this book was very important to me. It is an anthology featuring different types of works (poems, speeches, short stories) by gay and straight women of colour (African-American, Asian, Native American, Latina). What I found surprising is how all these groups of women have similar problems despite their ethnic differences.

The book is indeed radical. It is very candid and unapologetic. It's also exhorting. It talks about the frustration that women of colour have faced when their concerns and experiences have not been included in traditional feminist theory.

I found the book to be very inspirational. It was actually written over 30 years ago so things have changed quite a bit but some of the concerns remain the same.The main change I have seen is women of colour gaining awareness of themselves, their place in society and their strength. As Mitsuye Yamada says, "I would like to think that my new awareness is going to make me more visible than ever."

Gloria Anzaldua encourages women of colour to write and share their stories and concerns. One of her quotes was so beautiful: "Pen, I feel right at home in your ink doing a pirouette, stirring the cobwebs, leaving my signature on the windowpanes. Pen, how could I ever have feared you. You are quite housebroken but it's your wildness I am in love with."

Despite the book being aimed at women of colour, I believe it is a good book for all women to read. Very educational and enlightening.