Notes From a Feminist Killjoy

By (author): Erin Wunker

Winner of the Atlantic Book Awards 2017 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
Winner of the East Coast Literary Awards 2017 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
Finalist for the 2017 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing

Erin Wunker is a feminist killjoy, and she thinks you should be one, too.

Following in the tradition of Sara Ahmed (the originator of the concept “feminist killjoy”), Wunker brings memoir, theory, literary criticism, pop culture, and feminist thinking together in this collection of essays that take up Ahmed’s project as a multi-faceted lens through which to read the world from a feminist point of view.

Neither totemic nor complete, the non-fiction essays that make up Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life attempt to think publicly about why we need feminism, and especially why we need the figure of the feminist killjoy, now. From the complicated practices of being a mother and a feminist, to building friendship amongst women as a community-building and -sustaining project, to writing that addresses rape culture from the Canadian context and beyond, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life invites the reader into a conversation about gender, feminism, and living in our inequitable world.


Erin Wunker

ERIN WUNKER is a teacher and a writer. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production. She is the author of the multiple award-winning book Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life. She lives and works in K’jipuktuk/Halifax.


“Wunker’s book demands that readers find new ways to talk about things.”—Atlantic Books Today

“One of the greatest merits of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is its style of personal musings: by employing brief and often unfinished thoughts, Wunker lends us the opportunity to complete the feminist killjoy sentiment, filling in blanks and empathizing with our own set of experiences.”—The Goose

“Wunker renders the label ‘feminist killjoy’ one that readers can be proud to wear.” —Quill and Quire (starred review)

“These essays quench my thirst for clear, smart critical theory, written with love and footnotes and personal stories and experiences. Why has academic writing consistently tried to separate the heart from the head? Why? Erin Wunker’s essays are perfect, especially Chapter 2—”Notes on Friendship.”—49th Shelf 

“I want to gift the book to everyone I know and share the experience of reading it with them. In a time when I needed one, I read this book and found a friend.”—The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Written as a series of linked notes, Erin uses her training as an academic to name and articulate the things we feel in our bones but do not have the words for, rendering intelligible to us the things we experience moving through the world in gendered bodies.”—Hook and Eye

“Wunker’s vulnerability is honest in a way that speaks instantly to the concerns and struggles faced by those who take up the mantle of being a feminist killjoy.”—The Town Crier

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is an answer to what is needed now — a self-consciously contingent rejoinder to the question of “who needs feminism?” —

“In Notes, Wunker’s literary erudition, pop-culture references, and memoir fragments work together as a model of intersectional feminism and allyship.” —Canadian Literature

“This collection by Erin Wunker…is the spiritual successor to Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me. The essays are air-tight, intertwining traces of memory and theory, the best kind of non-fiction. Wunker takes up the figure of the Feminist Killjoy and explores its political potential, bringing an essential stream of feminist theory to a wider public.”—Large Hearted Boy

“Engagement with this book means subscribing to ideals that might better the lives of those who have been used and made voiceless by a patriarchal society. And so, the reading of the book itself is a political act with great weight.”—Atticus Review

“This book should be considered essential reading.”—rob mclennan’s blog

“What is a Feminist Killjoy? In Erin Wunker’s introduction to her new book, she attributes the term to Sara Ahmed and calls the FK “that irreverent figure who lights a match and joyfully flicks it into the dry hull of patriarchal culture.” With everything that’s happened, you bet your bottom dollar we’re on board.”—All Lit Up

“Over 209 pages of linked notes, the volume wends like a passionate discussion over a long afternoon with your very-smart-and-ready-to-disrupt best friend.”—Hamilton Review of Books

“I love the way the narrative thread of Wunker’s book makes its way with seeming effortlessness. There is nothing laboured about how a discussion of rape culture leads to the Jian Ghomeshi trial leads to women coming together leads to a chapter on friendship.”—Pickle Me This

“Erin Wunker’s first book is a useful navigational tool even for those steeped in the precepts of women’s studies. Her Notes represents a smorgasbord of reflection.”—Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star and Metro Canada (Toronto)

“Women reaching out to one another, telling each other our stories. This is a structural tactic. It is also crucial to the work of justice and social change. Let us take Wunker’s core message to heart and continue this messy, complex, and vital conversation.”—The Fem

Notes From a Feminist Killjoy is an honest, personal feminist work essential to this moment, when reminders of why we need feminism are all around us.”—Vagabond City

“Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is an answer to what is needed now—a self-consciously contingent rejoinder to the question of ‘who needs feminism?’ “—


  • Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing 2017, Short-listed
  • Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award 2017, Winner
  • Margaret and John Savage First Book Award 2017, Winner
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    216 Pages
    8.10in * 5.30in * .30in


    November 03, 2017


    Book*hug Press



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