Category Archives: Gender

The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux BYR
320 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9780374303235
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A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

Dashka Slater

Winner of the Stonewall Book Award

“The text shifts from straightforward reporting to lyrical
meditations, never veering into oversentimentality or simple platitudes. Readers are bound to come away with deep empathy for both Sasha and Richard . . . Slater artfully unfolds a complex and layered tale about two teens whose lives intersect with painful consequences. This work will spark discussions about identity, community, and what it means to achieve justice.”

School Library Journal (starred review)

One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.
If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

Dashka Slater

© Jacinta Bouwkamp

Dashka Slater has written many books, including Baby Shoes, The Sea Serpent and Me, Escargot, and Dangerously Ever After. She is also an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. She lives in California.

The 57 Bus  has been selected for First-Year Experience programs at:

The Fashion Institute of Technology (NY); Johnson State College (Northern Vermont University); University of Wisconsin – Platteville

Native Country of the Heart

Native Country of the Heart

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
256 pages • $25.00
ISBN: 9780374219666
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Available in April 2020

A Memoir

Cherríe Moraga

“‘Perhaps my writing has never really been about me,’ Cherríe Moraga admits in Native Country of the Heart, her bracing new memoir . . . Moraga’s mix of unitalicized English and Spanish adeptly celebrates and reinforces the culturally specific nature of the work.”

Los Angeles Times

Native Country of the Heart is, at its core, a mother-daughter
story. The mother, Elvira, was hired out as a child, along with her siblings, by their own father to pick cotton in California’s Imperial Valley. The daughter, Cherríe Moraga, is a brilliant, pioneering, queer Latina feminist. The story of these two women, and of their people, is woven together in an intimate memoir of critical reflection and deep personal revelation. As a young woman, Elvira left California to work as a cigarette girl in glamorous late-1920s Tijuana, where an ambiguous relationship with a wealthy white man taught her life lessons about power, sex, and opportunity. As Moraga charts her mother’s journey—from impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to, later on, an old woman suffering under the yoke of Alzheimer’s—she traces her own self-discovery of her gender-queer body and lesbian identity, as well as her passion for activism and the history of her pueblo. As her mother’s memory fails, Moraga is driven to unearth forgotten remnants of a U.S. Mexican diaspora, its indigenous origins, and an American story of cultural loss.


© Daniela Rossell

Cherríe L. Moraga is a writer and an activist. A former Artist-in-Residence at Stanford, Moraga was recently appointed a professor in the Department of English at UC-Santa Barbara, where, with her artistic partner Celia Herrera Rodriguez, she will institute Las Maestras Center for Chicana and Indigenous Thought and Art Practice. She co-edited (with Gloria Anzaldúa)
the highly influential volume, This Bridge Called My Back.

In the Dream House

In the Dream House

Graywolf Press
272 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
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A Memoir

Carmen Maria Machado

“Forget everything you think you know about memoir when reading Carmen Maria Machado’s brilliant, twisting, provocative entry in the genre.”


In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

Carmen Maria Machado

© Art Streiber-August

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of  Her Body and Other Parties, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

The Moment of Lift

The Moment of Lift

Flatiron Books
288 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 9781250313577
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How Empowering Women Changes the World

Melinda Gates

“Drawing on her vast experiences meeting women in far-flung corners of the developing world, Gates’ book is a heartfelt memoir about stepping out of her comfort zone, as well as a manifesto of sorts about the transformative power of broadening women’s rights.

San Francisco Chronicle

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. Her moving and compelling narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention—from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, Melinda shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world—and ourselves. Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another. When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

Melinda Gates

© Pivotal Ventures – Jason Bell

After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, Melinda Gates helped develop many of the company’s multimedia products. In 1996, she left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work and family. And in 2015, she created Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company that enables her to bring together other new and emerging strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work focused in the U.S. Currently the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Core to her work is empowering women and girls to help them realize their full potential.

A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing

A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing

192 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781635574616
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The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland

DaMaris B. Hill

“DaMaris B. Hill writes the poetry of the bound black woman across the ages in this haunting, powerful collection. What you will read here is not just poetry, though. This book offers an education. This book bears witness. This book is a reckoning.”

—Roxane Gay

Historically, Black women have been heavily invested in abolition, protest, and resistance movements aimed at the acknowledgment of Black humanity. Using history as inspiration, DaMaris B. Hill pays homage and bears witness to the lives and legacies of African American women burdened by confinement (physical, social, intellectual). These powerful and revelatory poems—focusing on the African American experience and family life—are inspired by current events and historical framings of women such as Harriet Tubman, Assata Shakur, and Sandra Bland. DaMaris, in this vital collection, details the violent consequences Black women endure while engaged in individual and collective acts of resistance over the last two centuries. Most of these women have been forgotten, shunned, and/or erased. A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing is a beautiful love letter to the women who have been denied their humanity, braved violence, and suffered despair.

Damaris Hill

© Tony Rance

DaMaris B. Hill is assistant professor of Creative Writing and African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky. Her previous works are The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland, and a collection of poetry, \Vi-ze-bel\\Teks-chers\. She has two Ph.D.s, one in English and one in women and gender studies. A former service member of the United States Air Force, she lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Topeka School

The Topeka School

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
304 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 9780374277789
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A Novel

Ben Lerner

The Topeka School weaves a masterful narrative of the impact that mental illness, misogyny, homophobia, politics, and religion have on children who want to be men . . . It’s rare to find a book that is simultaneously searing in its social critique and so lush in its prose that it verges on poetry.”

The Paris Review

Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ’97. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting “lost boys” to open up. They both work at a psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is a renowned debater, expected to win a national championship before he heads to college. He is one of the cool kids, ready to fight or, better, freestyle about fighting if it keeps his peers from thinking of him as weak. Adam is also one of the seniors who bring the loner Darren Eberheart—who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father’s patient—into the social scene, to disastrous effect. Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is the story of a family, its struggles and its strengths: Jane’s reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan’s marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the New Right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

Ben Lerner

© Matt Lerner

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations, and is the author of the internationally acclaimed novels Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04, and an essay, The Hatred of Poetry. His poetry collections include The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. Lerner is a professor of English at Brooklyn College.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

Ants Among Elephants

256 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250121028
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Scaachi Koul

“Drawing comparisons to Mindy Kaling and Roxane Gay, Koul is a voice for outsiders, children of immigrants and just about any other millennial trying to make their way in today’s perplexing world with this entertaining and thought-provoking collection of essays.”

Rolling Stone

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. She learned from an early age what made her miserable, and for Scaachi anything can be cause for despair. Whether it’s a shopping trip gone awry; enduring awkward conversations with her bikini waxer; overcoming her fear of flying while vacationing halfway around the world; dealing with Internet trolls, or navigating the fears and anxieties of her parents. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color: where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision, or outright scorn; where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, leaving little room for a woman not solely focused on marriage and children to have a career (and a life) for herself. With a sharp eye and biting wit, incomparable rising star and cultural observer Scaachi Koul offers a hilarious, scathing, and honest look at modern life.

© Barbora Simkova

Scaachi Koul was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and is a culture writer for BuzzFeed. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Hairpin, The Globe and Mail, and Jezebel. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is her first book. She lives in Toronto.

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