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An Ordinary Life

I first met Amy Krouse Rosenthal while scrolling through social media. I tucked away her article “You May Want to Marry My Husband” for later, not yet realizing there wasn’t a later to be had. In fact, many people first met Amy through that New York Times article which was published on March 3rd of 2017.

That was ten days before Amy died of ovarian cancer. She had written it as a love letter to her husband. When I met her again, through her obituary, I rushed back to find that article and read it with an aching wish to stop time, to bend it over on itself, to cancel it out and rewrite it. Read More..

Angélique Kidjo, a Joyful & Empowering Advocate

Charismatic singer-songwriter and human rights advocate Angélique Kidjo is an energetic powerhouse. She creates world-renowned eclectic, genre-complex music and works diligently to empower others.

She has championed empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007 she co-founded the Batonga Foundation, which supports girls’ education in Africa and continues the legacy of advocacy of Kidjo’s own family.

I’m currently reading her book, Spirit rising: My Life, My Music, released in 2014. This memoir is full of inspiration, heartfelt revelry, and the humor of a fascinating, talented activist. She points out we are all descended from Africa and can join together to make positive changes where needed, but we also need to recognize that the African continent is diverse and not universally impoverished. Her words resonate, acting as a powerful salve-therapy against xenophobia. Read More..

All Things Possible and Nothing Safe in Cooper & Vanderbilt Family Memoir

An enjoyable aspect of reading memoirs is the potential life lessons that can be gleaned from another person’s example. There are times this knowledge doesn’t come directly from the author themselves, yet it can be found in the manner they lived their life. Also within memoirs, there exists the potential of surprise in learning new information about the author, the opportunity to hear their innermost thoughts, and, possibly, to connect with them on a universal level. Read More..

Home Grrrl

Carrie Brownstein’s name may recall her performances on the television show Portlandia, a sketch based comedy with a satirical perspective about the culture that is unique to Portland, Oregon. Twenty years ago, however, Brownstein’s occupation was as guitarist and founding member of the band Sleater Kinney. Alongside bandmates Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss, they comprised one of the most notable groups of the Riot Grrrl movement. Now, Brownstein has written a telling memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

During the early to mid Nineties, Riot Grrrl stemmed from a continuing Punk Rock aesthetic, manifesting through music, political activism, and the medium of zines. It was born out of frustration from the lack of voice regarding women’s rights, gender and sexual equality, as well as numerous other social issues. Factions were located on both Coasts; however, a burgeoning epicenter was in the Pacific Northwest. There, a handful of bands soon became figureheads, such as Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Heavens to Betsy, yet few reached the status of Sleater Kinney. Read More..