Tag: Review

“Acknowledgments in Essay Form:” Briallen Hopper’s Hard to Love

I agreed to review Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions a week before my long-time boyfriend broke up with me out of the blue one otherwise completely normal Wednesday afternoon. Needless to say, my copy of Briallen Hopper’s heartfelt and nourishing essays arrived at exactly the right time. Her collected musings — examining love, life,… Read more →

Colorizing and Fictionalizing the Past: A Review of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old

Five years ago, the Imperial War Museum in London contacted Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) and tasked him with presenting some 100+ hours of archival footage from the First World War in a “fresh and original” way, without any new or modern footage. For over half a decade, Jackson and his team… Read more →

“Remember—Don’t Drill a Hole in Your Head”: A Review of The Sawbones Book

The Sawbones Book: The Horrifying, Hilarious Road to Modern Medicine is an adaptation of a Maximum Fun Network podcast, Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine. I reviewed the podcast for my own blog back in 2014, so I’ll keep the synopsis here short: Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy are married. She’s a doctor…. Read more →

Review of Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

My Testimony I always wanted a really sexy testimony. That’s not the word I would have used, of course. Growing up in the evangelical Christian church, I knew good girls were never supposed to be “sexy.” The word “sexy” was said only in hushed tones, like “whore,” “vagina,” or “feminist.” A “testimony,” as used in… Read more →

Taking Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy Seriously: Little Women on PBS

Spoilers ahead for plot points of Little Women — but you’ve had 150 years to read the book! Growing up, my mother kept a 19th-century copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women on a table in my parents’ bedroom. It was pleasantly heavy, and its rounded cover had embossed vines and flowers on the cover…. Read more →

Fighting Back Over Leaning In: HBO’s Big Little Lies as a Lesson in Feminist Solidarity

As powerful men continue to fall in the wake of the viral #metoo movement, and as it has evolved into #TheirTimeIsUp, women are asking how to move forward in order to create a different world. I keep coming back to the critical possibilities of HBO’s Emmy and Golden Globe winning miniseries Big Little Lies. Single,… Read more →

Handmaids, Hospitals, and The Pageantry of the Newborn Nursery Window

Sixteen minutes into the second episode of Hulu’s new Handmaid’s Tale, Offred (Elizabeth Moss), having recently given birth to her first child, follows a nurse to the hospital’s newborn nursery, where her baby will have her first bath. Arriving at the nursery, Offred is taken aback by an unusual sight. “Where are the babies?” she… Read more →

Woke Kids on Campus: Netflix’s Dear White People

Justin Simien’s television adaptation of his movie, Dear White People, appeared on Netflix in April to considerable fanfare and controversy. The satirical series about racial struggles at the fictional Ivy League school, Winchester University, earned a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. The trailer also attracted its share of white Americans on social media miffed about… Read more →

Playwright Alice Eve Cohen Asks Us to Reconsider What We Think We Know about Pregnancy and Motherhood

“What makes a mother real?” asks writer and performer Alice Eve Cohen in her newly-published play, What I Thought I Knew. In 1999, Cohen experienced the most improbably and bizarrely complicated pregnancy imaginable. Her play is a crystallization of her stranger-than-fiction pregnancy memoir that was acclaimed at its 2009 publication with book-of-the-year awards from Salon… Read more →

Clio Reads: A Review of It Hurts Down There: The Bodily Imaginaries Of Female Genital Pain

“Female genital pain” is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of often miserable, frequently perplexing conditions that render women’s genitals, external or internal or both, a zone of persistent, intransigent pain. Yet the names physicians have given these conditions are indicative of little more than their primary symptoms: “vulvodynia,” perhaps the most common diagnosis,… Read more →