Gore has gathered in one volume the whispers and conversations heard in homes, on playgrounds, and in coffeehouses around the country.
There is nothing quite like reading the lived experience of another woman and seeing yourself reflected in her story. Seal Press memoirs explore women’s lives through the many challenges and victories faced by authors such as Kara Richardson Whitely, Elizabeth Enslin, and Nancy K. Miller.
Relationships between women are often cast in binary terms, either as backstabbing competition behind the scenes or soft-filter best-friend-forever moments. Yet the simple truth about friendship is that it’s never simple: not for eight-year-olds acting out adulthood through rich Barbie fantasies, not for teens trying to bridge the chasm of racial and cultural divide, not for kid-free singles watching old friendships weaken with each new partner and child that happens to someone else. Yet, however problematic women’s relationships with one another can be, they can also be intense, intimate affairs, more steadfast than any romantic relationship and ultimately, more fulfilling. Secrets and Confidences is the first anthology to bypass the saccharine platitudes that make up most books on women’s friendships, and acknowledge the complex reality of relationships first exemplified by Mary and Rhoda, Lucy and Ethel, and now celebrated by shows like Sex and the City—relationships that exhibit jealousy and love, loyalty and despair, and more than a few pair of really good shoes.
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.
While many recent books have thoughtfully examined the plight of the working poor in America, none of the authors of these books is able to claim a working-class background, and there are associated methodological and ethical concerns raised when most of the explicatory writing on how poverty affects women and girls is done by educated, upper-class journalists. It was these concerns that prompted indie icon Michelle Tea—whose memoir The Chelsea Whistle details her own working-class roots in gritty Chelsea, Massachusetts—to collect these fierce, honest, tender essays written by women who can’t go home to the suburbs when their assignment is over. These wide-ranging essays cover everything from stealing and selling blood to make ends meet, to “jumping” class, how if time equals money then being poor means waiting, surviving and returning to the ghetto and how feminine identity is shaped by poverty. Contributors include Dorothy Allison, Diane Di Prima, Terri Griffith, Daisy Hernández, Frances Varian, Tara Hardy, Shawna Kenney, Siobhan Brooks, Terri Ryan, and more.
Today’s women expect it all: a successful career, an understanding and equally successful mate, and children—all wrapped up in a white picket fence. But recent studies show that while black women have ascended to form a new middle class and have attained success in the business sector, black men haven’t followed suit. Perhaps as a result, with other sociological and economic factors at play, many successful sistahs are having trouble finding a partner to call their own. This groundbreaking anthology explores the many reasons why—analyzing materialism and financial expectations, single motherhood, bling bling culture, media representations of African-American gender roles, missing fathers, incarcerated partners, and more—and offers hope from women who have beaten the odds. Writers including Kevin Powell and Victor LaValle weigh in on the men’s side in a “Talking Back” section, while female contributors include Kiini Ibura Asalaam, Shawn E. Rhea, Shani O’Neal, and Asha Bandele.
My Husband Betty is the first book to explore the relationships of crossdressing men and their female partners. Known traditionally as transvestites, men like Helen Boyd’s husband are starting to come out and win the respect of friends, family, and society—even if their behavior still baffles mental health professionals and the crossdressers themselves. Boyd explains the “taxonomy” of the transgendered, the distinct societies within the transgender community, the effects of the closet, sexuality, and the issues faced by the wives and girlfriends of crossdressing men. Helen’s own experience is at the heart of this book, her story complimented and contradicted by interviews with crossdressers, drag queens, “tranny chasers,” and other transgender couples.