From the Wire

New Nonfiction by Women

We’re kicking off Women’s History Month with some book club-worthy nonfiction books by women. These books were released within the last few months and will take you everywhere — from the frontlines of the fight for trans lives to ancient Greece to the typewriter of a Southern genius.

But first, as always, a few nibbles.

Nibbles and Sips

I’m a seasonal girlie, and so, even though spring hasn’t officially sprung just yet, I am very much into the seasonal fare. These pastries look easy enough to make and seem like a perfectly light and sweet handheld treat.

You’ll need: puff pastry, strawberries, whipped cream (you’ll need vanilla, heavy cream, and powdered sugar if you’re making homemade whip), and powdered sugar.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out pastry shapes, then bake at 400 for 10 minutes or so. For full instructions and a video, visit Deborah Trette’s Instagram.

cover of Creep: Accusations and Confessions by Myriam Gurba; photo of the author, a Latine woman

Creep: Accusations and Confessions by Myriam Gurba

With this collection of essays, Gurba is snatching edges. She looks in depth at creeps — the actions and people who we actively label as “creeps,” as well as things that we maybe should. Instead of looking just at the more offensive, overt actions, Gurba also looks at things that are taken less seriously but are on the same spectrum. People who commit sexual assault and get away with murder are creeps, but so is the society that lets them. Gurba also makes this collection personal, weaving in pieces of her own story throughout, including her experiences with sexual assault. She even reckons with sources of inspiration and how they’ve missed the mark (specifically Joan Didion and how little she’s had to say on Indigenous populations as a California writer).

cover of The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation by Raquel Willis

The Risk It Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation by Raquel Willis

In this memoir, Willis recounts her life. She grew up feeling isolated in Augusta, Georgia as a queer Black child, despite her supportive family. It wouldn’t be until going to college and finding a queer community that she began to explore herself and her identity. As she entered the field of journalism, the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining steam, and the trans community was getting more visibility. Becoming aware of the threat to trans lives, especially those of trans teens and trans women of color, led to her coming out as trans and becoming a voice for the voiceless.

cover of Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes

Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes

After her popular fictional Greek retellings — like A Thousand Ships and Stone Blind — Haynes turns her attention to the depictions of the Greek goddesses who have inspired so many. Some may say she takes a female-centered perspective in analyzing the motivations of the mythological figures she discusses, but I’d counter that she’s just being more objective when looking at the lives of figures like Hera, Artemis, Aphrodite, and others.

cover of Carson McCullers

Carson McCullers: A Life by Mary V. Dearborn

McCullers is one of my favorite Southern writers, and just writers ever. I remember being amazed at how well she could write from the perspective of those who had experiences so outside of her own at such a young age (23, if we’re thinking of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter). This is the first biography of the genius author in the last couple of decades, and it details her life — from the time she thought she’d be a concert pianist to her inherent queerness — referencing materials unavailable until the last decade or so.

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