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New and Noteworthy Books: Women’s History Month Edition

BY ON March 1, 2015


Laverne Cox sez that feminist theory is the new orange and the new black.

Let’s start Women’s History Month with a few good reads:

  • Cheryl Clarke, Living as a Lesbian (New York: A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014). A reissue of a 1986 classic by this literary scholar, poet, essayist and activist. For more on Cheryl Clarke, go to this interview with her about the 1963 March on Washington on OutHistory.org.
  • Susan Lanser, The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565-1830 (University of Chicago Press, 2014).
  • Terry Castle, Boss Ladies, Watch Out! Essays on Women, Sex and Writing (New York: Routledge, 2013). For those of you who want to celebrate with a captivating essay about the causes and consequences of getting hot for teacher, order a copy of The Professor: A Sentimental Education (New York: HarperCollins, 2011.) The novella-length title essay is at the end, but you are guaranteed not to feel like you are just eating your vegetables to get to the cake. For a three part conversation between feminist bloggers Tenured Radical and Historiann about this wonderful book, go here, here, here, and here. I know: that’s four links. But the second one is a redirect with a YouTube clip where Susannah York plays the younger lesbian lover in The Killing of Sister George. You really don’t want to miss that.
  • Jennifer Finney Boylan, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders  (New York: Crown/Archetype: 2013). To paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir, we are not born women — we become women. But you knew that — you are reading OutHistory! This is a re-issue of a 2003 classic about transitioning from the birth body to the gender that makes the most sense: I once ordered a case because I gave it away to so many students. Looking at Google books, I see you can now buy an electronic copy for $1.99: a steal.

Two books on sexologist John Money:

And last but not least, here is a list of the books that changed actress Laverne Cox’s life. It is absolutely true about the bell hooks — I saw her on a panel with hooks at The New School, and girlfriend knows her black feminist theory.


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