susanstinson: (Fat Girl Dances With Rocks)
The first chapter of Hanne Blank's new book, Virgin is linked to in today's New York Times Sunday Book Review. You probably need to register with the New York Times website in order to access the link.

Although I doubt that she has much time for lj at the moment, Hanne is on my friends list, along with some of her good friends and many committed fans of her earlier books. Hi! Yay! It is moving to me to read the chapter and see her take on a such a contested topic with elegant assurance, which, I know, is the product of much rigorous work. This really does matter so much to me: that women have the intellectual, social and literary tools we need to resist being defined by our sexuality in ways that have limited us so much in patriarchal culture; that all of us of all genders support each other towards relationships that -- in complex, concrete, messy, human, honest ways -- honor both sexual autonomy and profound human connection.

That might sound abstract, but the steps towards it are almost unbearably specific, intimate and so harshly patrolled by the culture. I honor Hanne's courage, effectiveness and grace in this new work.
susanstinson: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] misia's review is lovely, lovely, lovely -- specific, attentive, and gorgeous. She starts with the language, the writing, which makes me feel -- sure enough -- as if magic has occurred, as if what has seemed invisible has been made visible, has been seen, acknowledged, and praised. Hard to say how much that means to me -- a lot. It'll be in the summer issue of Bitch.

My father has sent me beautiful letter about the book, in an envelope also stuffed with his account of the early roads of their county in Texas, complete with Polaroids of an old railroad underpass on the old Fort Worth line, and two former filling stations which have been converted into houses; a family history by my mom; and a bunch of newpaper clippings: a cowboy riding a bucking horse at the annual rodeo at the junior college across the street from their house, an ad for a Willie Nelson concert (he'd shaved his beard), and a bunch of articles about the poor officiating at the end of the last game of the season by the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team. Hard to imagine anything better.

And here's an old poem of mine for fat girls and also for anyone willing to take the sweet, reckless leap to identify with a fat girl:

A Practical Guide to Successful Living

Fat girls let your shirts ride up
Lie down on the cold spring dirt
and get mud on your fat backs.

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susanstinson

May 2009

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