Jules' Tools for Social Change: A Feminist Booklist

January 19, 2016 by Julia Horel

Welcome to this month’s edition of Jules’ Tools for Social Change, a column that features a book, author or publisher whose work deals with issues of race, gender, sexuality, ability, colonialism, economic justice, or other social justice topics.

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Dear Reader,

Welcome to this month’s edition of Jules’ Tools for Social Change, a column that features a book, author or publisher whose work deals with issues of race, gender, sexuality, ability, colonialism, economic justice, or other social justice topics.

In case you, like me, need a bit of a reset after the holidays, consider picking up one of these feminist-focused titles to kickstart your commitment to social justice in 2016! 

'Til next time,

Julia

 

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  Ellipses is a collection of poetry from Signature Editions, written by Andrea MacPherson. Divided into four sections, this collection explores the reimagined lives of MacPherson's grandmothers and of marginalized women in history who lived on the edges of society (as well as a couple of heavy-hitters, including Sylvia Plath). The significance of personal histories is explored throughout the collection. From the publisher: "Ellipses reclaims the often obscured realities of motherhood, illness, and the struggles of these women for independence."

 

 

 

 

 

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And Bella Sang With Us is a play by Sally Stubbs published by J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing. Inspired by Canada's first women police officers, Constables Minnie Miller and Lurancy Harris. From the publisher: "Hired in Vancouver in 1912 to deal with 'the female morality question', Miller and Harris battle prejudice and condescension; a child-prostitute and her hulking, brain-damaged female champion; one another, and their own limitations and demons." First produced in 2012 in Vancouver, this play was previously titled Playing With the Boys.

 

 

 

 

 

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Let's switch it up with a young adult novel: Lois Donovan's  The Journal, published by Ronsdale Press. 13-year-old Kami, who is mixed-race Japanese and white, finds an old diary and travels back in time to 1929, when the suffragettes worked toward securing the vote for women in Canada. Kami learns the unfortunate fact that working for rights for one group doesn't always mean an inclusive attitude: she is startled to learn that some of the famous suffragettes hold racist attitudes. Coming back to the present, Kami must come to terms with the struggle for equality for all marginalized people and her place in the fight.

 

 

 

 

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From the publisher, Mawenzi House: "In  Bodymap, Lambda Award-winner Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha sings a queer disabled femme-of-colour love song filled with hard femme poetics and disability justice." Including sections on disability, queer transformative love, femininity, politics and Sri Lankan identity, and ancestry and queer parenting, this collection of poetry is both personal and political. The collection contains work created and performed with  Sins Invalid, a performance piece on disability and sexuality that centres artists of colour and queer and gender non-conforming artists.

 

 

 

 

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From proudly feminist Caitlin Press comes Leah Horlick's  For Your Own Good. "A fictionalized autobiography, the poems in this collection illustrate the narrator's survival of a domestic and sexual violence in a lesbian relationship." The collection includes numerous references to contemporary and classic feminist writing against violence, including Adrienne Rich, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Daphne Gottlieb and Michelle Tea. Breaking the silence on violence within community, this collection reminds us that we need to continuously interrogate power dynamics and fight against oppression even within progressive and activist circles.

 

 

 

 


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