New Books Network

Great Books: Catherine Stimpson on de Beauvior’s “The Second Sex”
“Woman is not born but made.” This is only one of the powerful sentences in Simone de Beauvoir’s magisterial The Second Sex (1949). It means that there’s nothing natural about the fact that 50% of humanity has been oppressed by the other half for millennia. There’s nothing natural about the... Read More
Helen Taylor, “Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Why and how is fiction important to women? In Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives (Oxford University Press, 2020), Helen Taylor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter, explores this question to give a detailed and engaging picture of fiction in women’s lives. The book... Read More
Keri Holt, “Reading These United States: Federal Literacy in the Early Republic, 1776-1830” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
Keri Holt is the author of Reading These United States: Federal Literacy in the Early Republic, 1776-1830, published by the University of Georgia Press in 2019. Reading These United States explores how Americans read, saw, and understood the federal structure of the country in its early years. Drawing on a... Read More
Emily Colbert Cairns, “Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
Emily Colbert Cairns’ book, Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), traces the biblical figure of Esther, the secret Jewish Queen, as she is reinvented as the patron saint for the early modern Sephardic community. This hybrid globetrotter emerges repeatedly in... Read More
Great Books: Rich Blint on James Baldwin’s “Another Country”
“If we – and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks […] do not falter in our duty now, we may be able […] to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.” James Baldwin’s appeal and admonition... Read More
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, “The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games” (NYU Press, 2019)
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas has written a beautiful, captivating, and thoughtful book about the idea of our imaginations, especially our cultural imaginations, and the images and concepts that we all consume, especially as young readers and audience members. The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger... Read More
Great Books: Carol Gilligan on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”
Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter tells the dramatic story of a woman cast out of society for adultery and condemned to wear a badge of shame in Puritan New England. Renowned psychologist Carol Gilligan identifies Hawthorne’s masterpiece as “the American novel” because (as Hawthorne puts it toward the... Read More