Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

This year, I have been thinking a great deal about the role of the arts and humanities in the fight against climate change. While I have heard anecdotes about interdisciplinary projects that aim to tackle the ongoing environmental crisis from a range of different scholarly perspectives, it is troubling that the input of the humanities scholars is often reportedly neglected in favour of the data produced by the scientists and geographers. Undoubtedly, there is a sound rationale behind such a decision: we need data to assess the extent of the problem, and to develop practical recommendations for change. However, I strongly believe that the arts and humanities have serious untapped potential for helping to divert our course away from environmental catastrophe. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf

Feminist literature is a category that takes up a huge amount of space on my bookcase. It is one of my primary interests when reading for pleasure or when picking modules within my degree. Considering the importance of intersectional feminism and inclusivity in what we read and how we educate ourselves, it is extremely important to diversify our bookshelves. As there are simply too many amazing Black feminist writers to mention in this article, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Claudia Rankine and Warsan Shire to name a few, I have instead decided to list three of my favourite Black feminist writers to get you started. The first being one of my favourite authors who I believe to be a fantastic starting point in your reading, the second is a recent read that I loved, and the final recommendation is the next book that I am planning on reading that I have heard amazing things about. Continue reading Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf

Reading Corner: Daddy by Emma Cline

I’ve found that there is a curse amongst English students. We have chosen to study an activity one usually conducts for pleasure and as a result, too often the joy of reading is drained from us. Just as I am falling into a novel which has sat patiently on my to read pile, I spot The Odyssey or Othello glaring at me, and the guilt of neglecting the reading list for my module pulls the book from my grasp. Continue reading Reading Corner: Daddy by Emma Cline

Boobs and Books: How Women Often get Told They Can Only Have One or the Other

When Emily Ratajkowski’s interview with French Marie Claire in 2018 went viral this year, I don’t expect many women were all that surprised by its contents. The writer Thomas Chatterton Williams was shocked to learn that the now 29-year-old model and actress was writing a series of essays about the modelling industry and commodification, because apparently you can’t have boobs AND brains in the twenty-first century. Ratajkowski is sadly not the only victim of the sexist trope, that conventionally attractive women are not intelligent, and any signs of intelligence are merely a ploy to seem even more attractive to men. Time and time again, famously beautiful women are mocked for having an interest in politics, literature or anything other than material items. But this issue doesn’t end with just the famous ladies out there, it trickles down even more potently to all levels of society. Continue reading Boobs and Books: How Women Often get Told They Can Only Have One or the Other

How to Capture an Individual in Words: The Benefits and Limitations of Life-Writing

Life-writing, that is biographies and autobiographies, are not a recent phenomenon. However, now more than ever these works of literature dominate the bestsellers list with the writing of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and more selling millions of copies. But what makes these books so appealing to a modern audience? Is it the mere explosion of ‘celebrity’ admiration or is there something more complex than this at hand? Continue reading How to Capture an Individual in Words: The Benefits and Limitations of Life-Writing

Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other has already seen immense amounts of success for Bernardine Evaristo as the winner of The Booker Prize 2019 and the first female writer of colour to top the UK fiction paperback chart. As people work towards diversifying and decolonising their bookshelves, this seems to be a frequent favourite to start that journey. An aspect that I haven’t seen addressed as much though … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

For many of us, reading has become a source of hope, providing a space for both refuge and clarity to help us navigate our present climate. As well as having new texts to look forward to, pre-ordering books also offers an opportunity to support authors and publishers alike during the uncertainty of lockdown. Dynamic, ambitious and uplifting, these are some of the most exciting and important titles to look out for in 2020! Continue reading Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

Pride Culture Comforts: A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford

My friend Sophie gave me A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston as a gift so that I could further indulge in my love for Whitney Houston. It’s the memoir of Robyn Crawford, Whitney’s childhood friend, business partner, and lover. Their sexual relationship only lasted a short while while they were young adults, but they remained an intimate part of each other’s lives … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford