Review: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

str2_daphnerebelR_sharmilla_1First published on 23rd June, 2017 in The Star

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women

By Elena Favilli and Francesa Cavallo

(Particular Books, 212 pages)

Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, the creators of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, wished to address the lack of strong female role models in children’s literature. They noticed how books and popular media were full of gender stereotypes, which they felt they could challenge with their book.

Favilli and Cavallo crowdfunded their project and ended up raising over a million dollars. The result is an illustrated book featuring the stories of 100 women who have made a mark in their respective fields, be it literature or politics, sports or science. These women are “rebels” because they challenged stereotypes, overcame odds of all sorts and didn’t take “No” for answer.Read More »

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Top Ten Nothing

I won’t be participating in the Top Ten Tuesday meme every week, but only when I feel I have a Top Ten I want to list, Like, duhh. Why force a meme, right?

MostlyLit_33000-1In other news, I listened to the Mostly Lit podcast today while making lunch and was highly irritated by the hosts, Alex and Derek (there is a third host called Reckless Rai, a woman, but she was absent on this episode in which they talk about bell hooks with Imrie from the Melanin Millennials podcast). Then I found out they are 20-something-year-old men bois. This explains a lot, including probably why they’d never heard of The Unbearable Lightness of Being (one of them was reading the book but didn’t know the film, the other hadn’t heard of either). On the other hand, perhaps I’m expecting too much of people who claim to be readers. Don’t know. Alex (far left) is quite dishy though.

P.S. For obvious reasons, I didn’t like how Alex, Derek and Imrie dismissed all Nigerians as ‘really rude’. Really, how can you say an entire people are whatever it is you’ve decided they are? All Nigerians? Unfortunately, there was no one to ask them what they meant by such a sweeping statement.

 

Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

First published in The Star on 9th February, 2017

THE POWER

By Naomi Alderman

(Viking, 339 pages)

ISBN: 978-0241015728

IF you identify as feminist, you are likely tired of explaining that the women’s movement is about gender equality and not the domination of men by women. If you are a feminist you are probably  sick of hearing it said that you and your ilk hate men, burn bras, and are all lesbians (closet or otherwise). If you actively oppose the oppression of women in whatever form, you will have rolled your eyes countless times in response to those who declare that feminism is a sexist movement and that they prefer being called humanists or equalists.

Feminism is not about women being better than men, but it is about and attempts to address personal, political, social and economic power disparities between the sexes. So, what if women had the power? Would it automatically result in gender equality?Read More »

Review: Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta

everything_good_will_comeWhen I finished reading this book, I wanted to read it all over again. I felt it opened a window wide and I couldn’t get enough of the scene it framed. I wanted to go back and pick over everything slowly, paying more attention to each detail, thinking about each situation, analysing each character.

I am planning to move to Lagos, where Sefi Atta‘s Everything Good Will Come is set. Sure, the book opens in 1971, one year after the end of the Biafran war, and ends in 1995. A lot has changed, since then. Or has it? In any case, I don’t think people change much. Skyscrapers may rise and roads may be built, but the old attitudes remain, by and large unexamined and unchallenged. This may sound pessimistic of me, but let’s just say that I don’t want to expect too much. I tell myself I should be prepared for sexism, corruption and hypocrisy. It’s very much present in the world anyway, and from what I have heard and read, rife in Nigeria. I should remember that Don (my fiance) is an exception, and not the rule.Read More »

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School Freebie

It’s Top Ten Tuesday. For this week’s installment of the meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, we’re recommending anything that’s related to going back to school. I’ve taken this to mean books that open one’s mind and widen one’s horizons.

I’m choosing ten feminist books which I think should be required reading for anyone (regardless of gender) starting college.