10 Essential Books About Writing

Must-read titles for writers include works by Elena Ferrante, Akwaeke Emezi, Meg Wolitzer, Yoko Ogawa, and more.

Required Reading: Banned Books and Black Ink

Judy Blume made it to the the top of the American Library Association’s “Most Frequently Challenged Authors” list in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010. Read more »

BiblioBitch: "Virginia Woolf," Abridged and Alluring

Claude Monet called Herman Bang’s wartime Tine “the world’s first Impressionist novel,” floating as it does between characters, events, and chronology.... Read more »

Feministory: Anne Sexton, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet

Anne Sexton was born in Newton, Masachusetts in 1928. Sexton was the youngest of three daughters and quickly earned the title of the wild child. At seventeen, her parents sent her to Rogers Hall Boarding School in Lowell, Massachusetts to try and cure the rebellious side in her. After graduating... Read more »

Fertile Ground: Children's Book Review: The Last Wild Witch

When I found out that Starhawk, famed Earth Activist, spiritual feminist, Witch and permaculturist, had written a children’s book, I bought it before I knew I was ever going to be pregnant. The pictures, done by artist Lindy Kehoe, are beautiful paintings. The story centers on an herbalist (... Read more »

End of Gender: Not Your Mother's Storybooks

A new wave of children’s books depicts families who encourage their kids to be who they are. Read more »

Happy 96th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

As a Portland native and book lover, I’ve spent my whole life obsessed with Beverly Cleary. I wore the spines out of all of her books, my mom took us to Grant Park when they unveiled the Beverly Cleary statue garden (and Madame Cleary herself was there!), my cousin works at Beverly Cleary... Read more »

Visi(bi)lity: John Irving Tackles Biphobia in New Novel

Some of the comments on my post about Savage U last week argued that people like Dan Savage, who work hard to advance LGBT equality and visibility even though their biphobic and transphobic... Read more »

BiblioBitch: Five Righteous Books of Poetry that Changed My Life

I’ve always felt poetry to be above me, something I could not connect with or fully understand. Or that poetry by women was always sappy (I’ve since realized that learning about poetry through a white male canonic lens brainwashed me into thinking that way). After hearing my friend... Read more »

Required Reading: Disgrace

What do you say when it turns out that a friend or close coworker is into by rape-y highbrow erotica? Prize-winning literature is a minefield for polite conversation. Read more »

BiblioBitch: The Vanishers

The Vanishers is four-time novelist and Believer founding editor Heidi Julavits’s new work, and it has a really, really bright cover. It’s a good book, for the most part, and an interesting book, and I promise I’ll talk about it in an... Read more »


A Look at How Media Writes Women of Color

Nearly every Saturday morning, feminists of color hold Twitter discussions taking a deeper look at issues, such as gender violence. It’s the... Read more »

Know & Tell: The Literary Renaissance of Trans Women Writers

For so long, the people who wrote about us were not us. Finally, that is beginning to change. Read more »

Demanding the Impossible: Walidah Imarisha Talks About Science Fiction and Social Change

Before she was a poet, journalist, documentary filmmaker, anti-prison activist, and college instructor, Walidah Imarisha was fascinated... Read more »

Hot Under the Bonnet: The Cooptation of Amish Culture in Mass-Market Fiction

Dubbed “Amish romance novels,” “Amish fiction,” or the more waggish “bonnet rippers,” these novels just one entry point into the varying images of Amish communities in U.S. popular culture. Read more »