oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
[personal profile] oyceter
(subtitle: Writings by Radical Women of Color)

I read this way back during IBARW, and am only blogging about it now. I wanted to actually spend time and write good and deep and intelligent things, but mostly that just meant that I put it off for forever.

So... instead, the short and random edition!

I am sure it surprises no one that I adored this book. [livejournal.com profile] rilina had posted some Mitsuye Yamada quotes while she was reading this, and I loved them so much that I ILLed the book.

The book is a mix of essays, poems, and stories, some of which I enjoyed, some of which I didn't. The editors tried to include Asian, Latina, Native American, black, mixed race and homosexual women in the interests of coming up with an anthology that would try to cover all women of color.

The main thing for me was finally being able to read a book on myself. The anthology tackles issues of racism and sexism and how women of color are often caught in the middle, explaining one side to the other, having to constantly defend feminism from accusations of racism, or anti-racism from accusations of sexism. The opening poem from which the title comes was particularly moving.

I don't know how critical I can be about this book. It gave me tools and vocabulary during a time I really needed it (and still do); it included me and a lot of my issues, which isn't something that I tend to find that often (something including all my particular issues would have to address race, nationality AND gender). I've always felt like I had to defend Asian culture from accusations of sexism, or at least find ways to critique it without rejecting it all together. But because I didn't think about racism that much before, I never really concentrated on critiquing feminism from an anti-racism standpoint. It's an odd space to live in.

While I liked most of the pieces in the book, the ones that affected me the most were the ones on the Asian-American experience. A lot of this is because I haven't read that much on the Asian-American experience, and because a lot of the anti-racism books I was reading at the time focused largely on the black experience.

I'm not really putting this very well, but this is a book that is very important to me, and I found it at a time I really needed it.

Links:
- [livejournal.com profile] minnow1212's review
- [livejournal.com profile] sanguinity's review

Date: 2006-11-07 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com
Also, everyone should read it just because it's a classic!

Date: 2006-11-08 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hysteriachan.livejournal.com
. . . my public library doesn't have a copy. ;_;

Date: 2006-11-08 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hysteriachan.livejournal.com
Ooh, I forgot to think about the universities. I'll look into it. ^_^

Date: 2006-11-08 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juliansinger.livejournal.com
I read this at 17. I was this suburban white chick whose parents meant well but really weren't so good at this diversity thing.

I can safely say that this book, in fact, changed my life. So no, I sure can't be critical about it, either.

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