Waking Up American includes original work by women who are either American-born of at least one foreign-born parent or who immigrated to the United States during childhood. The writers explore what it means to feel caught between two worlds—neither wholly American nor wholly a part of another heritage. Cultures represented include the Philippines, Germany, India, Mexico, China, Iran, Nicaragua, Japan, Russia, and Panama, among others, and are often juxtaposed with a bicultural reality, having been raised by parents who simultaneously embrace and question American values. Essays trace themes of rebellion and conformity, pride and uncertainty, sexuality and sense of self, and a heightened awareness of what it means to be “other.” These narratives examine the part cultural identity plays in creating strong, independent, hyphenated American women whose experiences are part of what makes the United States the intriguing cultural amalgamation that so many diverse peoples are proud to call home.
History, Politics, and Current Affairs
As over 50% of the world’s population, women play an integral part in current affairs and history whether it is in human rights issues, politics, or the pitfalls of modern society. Dive into the ways women are changing the world through the voices of authors like Terry Mutchler, Julia Cooke, and Marianne Schnall.
The media, from Dr. Phil to the New York Times Magazine, is adamant that there is no love lost between working parents and those who stay home with their children, each fighting an ideological and economic war based on what they think is best for their children. Yet in reality, as Miriam Peskowitz powerfully discloses, parents don’t want to fight one another at all; they simply want more options. Moreover, the very sides in this debate don’t exist: one third of all mothers work part-time, falling into the vast abyss between full-time careerist and at-home mommy. How does the corporate climate in America force women to claim either a career or a family at any given time? Are the choices women are making—to either adjust careers, “carousel” in and out of the workplace, or quit altogether—really choices at all? And how do we expand the definition of productive worker to include an engaged parent? These questions and more are answered and explored in this moving and convincing treatise on the new-century collision between work and mothering.
The indie music world is littered with women who have not only withstood the racket of punk’s intolerance, but have twisted our societal notions of femininity in knots.
Not since Scout relayed her innocent, yet stark, fictional awakening to racial injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird has the influence of race on the world of children been painted with such delicate clarity as in this collection. Including the perspectives of women of color, white women, and those caught in between, Under Her Skin traces themes related to double lives, fear, envy, lineage, and family, broadening our understanding of the often-painful subject of racial difference. Essays include the reflections of a woman whose girlhood is spent deciphering levels of oppression—from her Jewish family’s internment in the camps to her own treatment of their African-American maids; a radical parallel forged between a half-Nigerian narrator and three generations of Finnish male immigrants whom she claims as kin; and the startling connection of a white fourteen-year-old to Emmett Till through the photograph found on his lifeless body. The first book of its kind to include the impact of racial awareness on women of all colors, Under Her Skin embodies a vital and unique contribution to the national discussion on race.
This compelling, revealing memoir exposes the reader to that world behind the flashing lights and offers illuminating insights into the reasons women take up this work—and how it affects their identities and lives off the job.
The F-Word reminds women of their incredible latent power, challenging them to move beyond labels and to work to protect and further women’s rights and freedoms.