"Ames Hawkins's These are Love(d) Letters is a genre-bending visual memoir and work of literary nonfiction that explores the questions: What inspires a person to write a love letter? What inspires a person to save a love letter even when the love has shifted or left? And what does it mean when a person uses someone else's love letters as a place from which to create their own sense of self? Beginning with the "simple act" of the author receiving twenty letters written by her father to her mother over a six-week period in 1966, These are Love(d) Letters provides a complex pictorial and textual exploration of the work of the love letter. Through intimate and incisive prose-the letters were, after all, always intended to be a private dialogue between her parents-Hawkins weaves her own struggles with gender, sexuality, and artistic awakening in relation to the story of her parents' marriage that ended in divorce. Her father's HIV diagnosis and death by complications related to AIDS provide the context for an unflinchingly honest look at bodily disease and mortality. Hawkins delicately and relentlessly explores the tensions in a father-daughter relationship that stem from a differently situated connection to queer identity and a shared struggle with artistic desire. In communion with queer and lesbian writers from Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf to Alison Bechdel and Maggie Nelson, Hawkins pushes exploration of the self with the same intellectual rigor that she critiques the limits of epistolarity by continually relocating all the generative and arresting creative powers of this found art with scholarly rhetorical strategies. Exquisitely designed by Jessica Jacobs, These are Love(d) Letters presents an affective experience that reinforces Hawkins's meditations on the ephemeral beauty of love letters. As poetic as it is visually enticing, the book offers both an unconventional and queer(ed) understanding of the documentarian form, which will excite both readers and artists across and beyond genres."
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Fourth edition. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, this collection expores, as coeditor Cherrie Moraga writes, 'the complex confluence of identities–race, class, gender, sexuality–systemic to women of color oppression and liberation." - back cover.
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Second edition. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2007. eBook @ Harvard Library [Harvard Key required]Abstract.
In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Outside the XY: A Bklyn Boihood Anthology. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
An anthology of more than 50 stories, memoirs, poems, ideas, essays and letters–all examining what it looks like, feels like, and is like to inhabit masculinity outside of cisgender manhood as people of color in the world.
Brown, White, Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion. New York: Picador, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"Essays describe how the author's experiences as an Indian American, the wife of a white Christian woman, and the mother of an adopted black son have been challenged by rigid cultural family norms."
Endangered Species: A Surly Bear in the Bible Belt. Amherst, MA: Lethe Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"Jeff Mann's newest collection of personal essays speaks out against homophobia and the outdated ideas of masculinity demanded by life in Appalachia and the American South"–Back cover.
Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. New York: Perennial, 2002. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"An updated edition of the personal account of the fifty-year fight for gay and lesbian rights recalls the struggle through the eyes of more than sixty participants."
These are Love(d) Letters. Made in Michigan writers series. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
Everybody Else is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes. First Atria Paperback edition. New York: Atria Paperback, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"From the director of fashion and culture at Refinery29 comes a provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot-button topics for modern women, including the uptick in internet feminism versus ongoing impossible beauty standards in media, the battle against anorexia, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more"-- Provided by publisher.
Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be: Essays. First edition. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"Pop culture is the Pandora's Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture's impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women. Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society's failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives"-- Provided by publisher.