female doubles

Symptomatic by Danzy Senna

“Every day in this new city I was trying to live in the purity of the present, free from context. Contexts, I knew, were dangerous: Once you put them into the picture, they took over.” As with her latest novel New People, Symptomatic presents its readers with a claustrophobic and disquieting narrative that becomes increasingly […]

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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye is an unflinching and deeply harrowing examination of race, colorism, gender, and trauma. Throughout the course of her narrative Toni Morrison captures with painful lucidity the damage inflicted on a black child by a society that equates whiteness with beauty and goodness, and blackness with ugliness and evil.In her introduction to her […]

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Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson — book review

“Dearest dearest darling most important dearest darling Natalie—this is me talking, your own priceless own Natalie.” Alice in Wonderland meets The Bell Jar in Shirley Jackson’s much overlooked Hangsaman.The first time I read this exceedingly perplexing novel I felt confused. Although Hangsaman shares many similarities with Jackson’s more well known novels (yet again we have […]

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SOLSTICE : BOOK REVIEW

Solstice by Joyce Carol Oates ★★★✰✰ 3.5 stars “I never change, I simply become more myself.” At its core this is a dizzying tale of the fraught and destructive relationship between two solipsistic women. A labyrinthine narrative follows characters that are mired in their own ambivalence. Until her divorce Monica Jensen was quite comfortable in […]

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Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Even after a third reading I am still surprised by how much this novel resonates with me. A lot readers will start Villette expecting a rehash of Jane Eyre—a novel which I enjoyed but wasn’t particularly taken by—which is a pity given that the narrative of Villette takes its reader through a much more labyrinthine path that the straightforward Bildungsroman […]

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