Sisterhood of the Squared Circle by Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy (ECW Press), a compelling history of women’s wrestling, and Netflix’s GLOW, a show about a group of female wrestlers in the ’80s, make one fierce tag team: we learned so much about the awesome world of women’s wrestling. But being literary minded, we got to thinking: what would the women of wrestling read when not in the ring? Below we imagined what books some of the characters from GLOW would have on their nightstand.
Ruth Wilder aka “Zoya the Destroyer”Ruth has constantly been passed up for good female roles in film and TV, which has only strengthened her tenacity towards her career. While Ruth is often found reading self-help books, she also likes stories about bold women who deviate from the status quo. Her choice in Leesa Dean’s Waiting for the Cyclone (Brindle & Glass) is just that: a collection of short stories about women who aren’t always kind, but reckless and imperfect.
Debbie Eagen aka “Liberty Belle”Ex-soap-opera-star Debbie traded the glitz and glamour of celebrity life to be a stay-at-home mom, and she’s tough as nails underneath the Hollywood exterior. Always being judged on her looks has made Debbie want to prove herself more, and she often retaliates with feminist literature. Her choice is Katherine Leyton’s poetry collection All the Gold Hurts My Mouth (Goose Lane Editions), which confronts the subtle effects of the media on our perceptions and interactions.
Cherry Bang aka “Junk Chain”Cherry is all to used to playing hall monitor/head trainer/mom to the rest of the GLOW cast, so you can bet her quiet moments are spent with books that transport her out of the ring. As one of the caretakers of the group she’s partial to short fiction like Saleema Nawaz’s Mother Superior (Freehand Books) that speak to complex mother-daughter relationships, sisters, misfits, and more.
Carmen Wade aka “Machu Picchu”Despite growing up in a family of professional wrestlers, sweet Carmen does not relish being centre stage and suffers from stage fright. It’s no wonder she identifies with the kick-butt protagonist Miramar Woo in Carriane Leung’s The Wondrous Woo (Inanna Publications) who learns to come out of her shell to be the heroine she feels like on the inside.
Sheila aka “The She Wolf”The most antisocial woman of GLOW, Sheila wears heavy black eye makeup, stains her teeth yellow, and dons a fur bodice. Spiritually she’s a wolf so her on-stage persona is not a big stretch. Sheila can be seen reading the short stories in Kevin A. Couture’s Lost Animal Club (NeWest Press) in which burdened characters take on a variety of beast-like traits.