Friday, May 18, 2012
Reading Women: How the great books of feminism changed my life is about feminism, motherhood, marriage, society, but most of all it's about reading.
The author, Stephanie Staal, found herself in a slump as she tried to balance her career, motherhood, and marriage, and figure out just what it meant to be a woman anymore. Seeking to explain herself to herself (like Beauvoir), she returned to the books written by and about women. And then she had the idea to go back to her alma mater and re-take Fem Texts.
The rest of the book follows the year-long course (although in the back of the book she admits that she wasn't able to schedule to do the class straight through, and edited things to give a better narrative), with the books they read discussed and interspersed with personal reflection and memoir.
I found the feminist discussions interesting, but what really struck me were each time Staal compared her young self's reaction to a text with her older self's reaction. Reading really is a conversation between the written words and the reader, and it's so interesting to see how we change as readers throughout our life.
All in all, this book was an interesting read, with a likeable narrator and some thought-provoking bits. And it has inspired me to remember that I am a Reader.