2018 international women's day.

  1. hye-young pyun, the hole (skyhorse, 2017)
  2. han yujoo, the impossible fairy tale (graywolf, 2017)
  3. patty yumi cottrell, sorry to disrupt the peace (mcsweeney's, 2017)
  4. samhita mukhopadhyay & kate harding, eds, nasty women (picador, 2017)
  5. shobha rao, girls burn brighter (flatiron, 2018)
  6. carmen maria machado, her body and other parties (graywolf, 2017)
  7. kim fu, for today i am a boy (HMH, 2014)
  8. jessica b. harris, my soul looks back (scribner, 2016)
  9. rowan hisayo buchanan, harmless like you (sceptre, 2017)
  10. ayobami adebayo, stay with me (knopf, 2017)
  11. jenny zhang, sour heart (lenny imprint, 2017)
  12. julie buntin, marlena (henry holt, 2017)
  13. molly yeh, molly on the range (rodale, 2016)
  14. yoojin grace wuertz, everything belongs to you (random house, 2017)
  15. kamila shamsie, home fire (riverhead, 2017)
  16. kristen kish, kristen kish cooking (clarkson potter, 2017)
  17. kim thuy, mãn (PRH canada, 2014)
  18. chinelo okparanta, under the udala trees (HMH, 2015)
  19. julia turshen, small victories (chronicle, 2016)
  20. sylvia plath, the letters of sylvia plath, vol i: 1940 - 1956 (harpers, 2017)

here's my annual stack for 2018 international women's day, and i love making these stacks so much. i love that i can populate them with predominantly women of color, that finding queer women (and, more importantly, queer WOC!!!) is not like hunting for that needle in a haystack, that i'm left thinking, ah! i should have added this title and this title and that one, too!

diversity makes my cold, little heart warm and swell, and i'm not interested in any celebration of womanhood that celebrates only white women or straight women or mainstream women. in relation, i'm not interested in feminism that excludes certain economic classes, feminism that says that we can be a part of their community only if we have the means to gain admittance into their playground. i'm not interested in feminism that only pays attention to the marginalized when they fulfill a specific need, more often than not a PR one.

and i know that i have to do better, too; i'm not trying to claim that i'm perfect or so much better off than anyone. i know i need to widen my geographic scope and read more from women all over the world. i know i need to read more from trans women. i know i need to read more from women who are not able-bodied.

that said, if you want to start reading more from women who aren't white and/or straight, here's a place to start. for full disclosure, i haven't finished every single book in this stack, and i didn't love them all equal amounts, but i stand by them. there are definitely a few books i've been pushing harder than others — like, oh my god, if you haven't read patty yumi cottrell's sorry to disrupt the peace or julie buntin's marlena or jenny zhang's sour heart yet, i highly, highly recommend you hurry up and do so. if you want to get your heart wrecked, read shobha rao's girls burn brighter and kim fu's for today i am a boy. and, if you're wanting to get into the kitchen more but are kind of intimidated, julia turshen's small victories is so freaking fabulous — and julia's so worth following on instagram and twitter because she actively boosts other women, especially WOC, using her platform to bring attention to issues and pressing concerns and needs.

should i not be spotlighting a few books over all the others? but, wow, i shamelessly admit that i'm stealing time between tasks at work to get this post up sooner than later.

so, hey, to keep this short and sweet: to all my women out there, WOC or not, queer or not, keep telling your bombass stories. keep putting your voices out there and sharing your strength. keep being the heroes of your stories.

and keep listening to the stories of your fellow women and keep supporting your communities and keep lifting up the voices of your fellow women, especially those marginalized among you.

together, may we continue to thrive.

find my stack for 2017 here and 2016 here.

a measure of how we are.

food. mom’s way of encouraging the family is to cook food in the old kitchen of the house. whenever the family encounters unbearable grief, mom steps into her old-fashioned kitchen. the men of the house. father, whom she loved but was sometimes difficult to understand, and her sons, who were growing into adults — whenever they disappointed her, she would go into the kitchen, her steps feeble. as she did when she was in shock, at the daughter lashing back at her, “you have no idea!” by the fuel hole of the furnace, or the shelf lined with upside-down bowls, inside the old-fashioned kitchen of that house, that was the only place where mom could endure the grief that has invaded her heart. and there she would regain her courage, as if the kitchen spirit had breathed a new energy into her. when she was delighted, when her heart ached, when someone left, or came back, mom made food, set the table, made the family sit down, and pushed the bowl, piled with food, in front of the one who was leaving or had returned. offering, endlessly, “have some more. try some of this. eat before it gets cold. have that, too.” (shin kyung-sook, the girl who wrote loneliness, 299)

sometimes, i joke that someone should marry me because i’d make a great wife (kinda), but that’s a joke only i’m allowed to make. (don’t conflate a woman’s love for cooking into something more than just that — a love for cooking. similarly, don’t put a woman down and call her a “bad” woman for not liking or not knowing how to cook.)

i say “kinda” because it’s really mostly because i love to cook for people — and not a general people-plural but my people — and i’d love cooking for my partner. there’s just something so satisfying about feeding someone you love, but, alas, i don’t have a partner yet (am not even close, sobs), so, these days, i cook for my parents, and i cook for friends.

sometimes, i also joke that it’s when i’ve come into your kitchen and cooked you a meal that we know we’ve become good friends. i have no idea how common this is with other people, but i tend to find myself cooking in friends’ kitchens often, from full-on meals to simple snacks to blue apron boxes, and it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. it’s fun if we’re cooking together, but it’s also just as fun if i’m cooking and the friend is hanging out with a glass of wine — or even if said friend is busy with a deadline and had originally planned to cook me dinner but couldn’t get as much done during the afternoon as hoped.

as long as there is food to cook and share and eat with people i love, i’m happy.

and, so, it’s no surprise that i did some cooking while in san francisco last week, nothing fancy or elaborate, just simple, homey food with my best friend. these kitchen moments were some of my favorite moments from the week.

i like my omelettes plain, fluffy, and cheesy. i use two eggs, whisk them up with chopsticks in a bowl (or a mug or a clear glass), adding a splash of milk (never skim, never fat-free, sometimes cream, sometimes half-and-half) and a tiny pinch of salt, and i whisk it all together until the yolks and whites are broken, the milk combined, and the whole thing looks like it would produce a soft, fluffy omelette. (i don’t know how else to describe it.)

i use a non-stick pan, heat it on medium-high heat until it’s just hot enough that a pat of butter will hit the pan and immediately start to foam but not so hot that the butter will brown — you want a clean, yellow omelette. after i’ve spread the butter to coat the pan, i give my egg mixture one last quick whisk (in case it’s settled while buttering my pan) and pour it into the center, tilting the pan as necessary to spread the eggs in an even layer. i lower the heat slightly (again! clean, yellow omelette!) and smile at that satisfying sizzle of eggs meeting melted butter on a hot surface.

when the omelette has just barely started to set but still looks wet, i use two spatulas to fold a fourth of the omelette over itself, then do the same on the other end, before liberally dumping grated cheese down the middle and folding the omelette in half again. once the cheese has melted, which only takes a minute or so, the omelette is done. it should be eaten immediately.

something i do love about california is the easy access to tillamook cheese — and different kinds of tillamook cheese, at that. tillamook is harder to come by on the east coast, but it’s one of my favorite cheeses — clean flavors, nothing snooty or fancy, just good cheese that makes for great grilled cheese sandwiches, grits, omelettes, etcetera.

i’d say that part of it is also just nostalgia, though i don’t know what i’m nostalgic for when it comes to tillamook, given that i didn’t grow up eating much cheese and kraft singles were all you could find in my house growing up. (i still love kraft singles.) and, yet, somehow, tillamook taps into a part of my brain that finds it comforting and seeks it out because it associates it with warmth and comfort and familiarity, all emotional responses i want when it comes to cheese in general.

tillamook is also a great cheese to use when making cheez-its. which are totally worth it, by the way.

i am also obsessed with these turkey ricotta meatballs. they’re from julia turshen’s small victories, and not only are they fucking delicious (and don’t require eggs or breadcrumbs), but i also love the story behind them — that they were the first thing julia cooked for her wife, grace, that grace didn’t even have a pot in her apartment, so julia made the meatballs at her own apartment and brought a pot and ingredients for sauce and a box of pasta to cook for grace at her apartment. stories like these are what make food so special and one reason i cook — because food is all about story, and one of the things we do with food is share stories, rewrite bad stories, and create new ones together.

[dec 5] here's to the good days.

this, too,
will i get used to it all?
even the way i am now,
after it’s all passed,
will it be a memory?
- nell, “habitual irony”
이것도 언젠가
모두 익숙해질까 그렇게 될까
지금 이러는 것도
모두 지나고 나면 추억인 걸까
- 넬, “습관적 아이러니”

today was one of the good days.

i didn’t wake up with a pit of nausea in my stomach, wanting to vomit and willing my heart to stop racing. i didn’t have an anxiety attack. i didn’t spend hours mired in depressed despair, my mind churning over stress and unease. it wasn’t a perfect day, and i still had anxiety constantly gnawing away at the peripheries of my brain, but, regardless, it was a good day.

one of the reasons i’m trying to post every day this week is that i want to get better at talking about these things. anxiety and depression are so difficult to talk about, partly because to do so is to get intensely personal, to make myself vulnerable in ways that scare me. it’s also difficult because it requires that i maybe lay out more details of my life than i may be willing — or maybe it’s that i’m not quite ready for that yet, am still unsure where to draw the lines between where to be transparent and where to maintain my privacy.

i’m still trying to negotiate these lines.

i do this, however, because i think it’s essential. there are topics i want to write about, and they include depression, suicidal thinking, body shaming. sometimes, i wonder if there’s a way to write about these topics without writing about myself, but i think that it’s necessary, in many ways, to talk about myself, about the ways that i’ve wrestled with these issues, with the damage that has shaped me and the path of my life — and this isn’t because i think i’m special but because i think i’m not.

there are so many people out in the world who also struggle with depression and suicidal thinking and also carry the scars from body shaming, and i think we need to break down the stigma around these issues and work towards healing, whether as wounded individuals or as a culture-at-large that perpetuates this damage. i think the first step we can take is for us to start talking about it because talking about it is a way to start creating connections that help us know we’re not alone, that we need not live in pain, with pain alone.

so i’m trying. and i will keep trying.


one of the reasons i like to cook/bake is that it helps me work things out of my system, whether they be stress or anxiety or just general restlessness. (it also helps me procrastinate.) i’m not a particularly good cook — i can bake fairly well, and i have a general, basic understanding of how to make food, but that’s kind of it.

(though maybe that’s all anyone really needs on a day-to-day basis. i just wish i knew more, but i always wish i knew more of everything.)

i’ve been trying to get better at cooking, though, and to challenge myself more in terms of what i cook. i can be really lazy and eat nothing but hot dogs and eggs over rice for days, maybe throwing in some roasted brussel sprouts when my body starts revolting, so i’ve been trying to think more consciously about what i’m eating and, in connection, what i’m buying at trader joe’s and why.

i’ve also been trying to cook more because, again, it gets me out of my head — and, see, this is where daily/regular posting feels weird, especially because it’s not like i’m coming into this space with a specific book or theme i’m tackling in an essay-ish form of greater length. i feel like i’m writing a journal, and i don’t have anything against journaling — it’s just weird for me, especially here. i don’t know why.

moving away from my discomfort, though: i used instagram stories for the first time tonight, honestly because i needed to let my chicken brown and that meant letting it sit there and brown for eight or so minutes on each side. i also had to do it in two batches because my dutch oven is only so big, which meant a fair bit of downtime, even after i’d chopped up my leeks and green beans and done the dishes and made coffee and swiffered the floor.

i like social media, especially instagram, and i appreciate it, too. i’m super grateful for the community on instagram, for everyone who follows me there and/or visits this space and takes the time to read or comment or even just like — i promise that none of it goes unnoticed, even if i am stupidly slow at relying to comments.

for some, this might sound absurd because social media (and even blogging) might seem like a superfluous, kind of self-centered thing, but, if you know anything of loneliness and isolation because of who you are, if you have a brain that retreats into itself because of anxiety or depression or any other condition, if you have a body that leaves you in constant pain and exhausts you with the smallest of tasks, social media and the community on the internet really mean a lot.

like many things, social media is an easy thing to dismiss when you function “normally,” but, sometimes, to some of us, on our worst days, it’s kind of all we’ve got — that and books and, for me, food.

this is dad’s chicken + leeks from julia turshen’s small victories. she mentions that her dad sometimes throws in carrots and creamer potatoes, so i threw in some green beans because i felt like i should eat something green. i used leftover homemade chicken broth from the last time i made my bastardization of hainanese chicken rice, and i ate this over rice with a side of kkak-du-gi, and it was a very simple but very satisfying meal.

(this post was partly in commemoration of my first instagram stories — heh, not really, but this is not a form i’ll be adopting for this space. follow on instagram for more of this? idk.)


about narratives. (take heart.)


most of us were from the south, most of us from some part of the bible belt. most of our stories sounded remarkably similar. we had all met with ultimatums that didn’t exist for many other people, conditions often absent from the love between parents and children. at some point, a “change this or else” had come to each of us: otherwise we would be homeless, penniless, excommunicated, exiled. we had all been too afraid to fall through the cracks; all of us had been told cautionary tales of drug addicts, of sex addicts, of people who ended up dying in the throes of AIDS in some urban west coast gutter. the story always went this way. and we believed the story. for the most part, the media we consumed corroborated it. you could hardly find a movie in small-town theaters that spoke openly of homosexuality, and when you did, it almost always ended with someone dying of AIDS. (conley, boy erased, 21)

i have this irrational dislike of ground meat — like, i have no problems eating food made with ground meat, but i hate — hate — cooking with it. i hate how it smells; i hate how it looks; and i hate how it feels. there’s no logical explanation for this, either, because i know the reason i hate it is that my mother hated it, and she didn’t have a logical explanation for it.  (also, korean people don’t usually cook with ground meat?)

when i was thinking of making these turkey ricotta meatballs from julia turshen’s small victories (chronicle, 2016), i went back and forth about the meat. should i just go for the ground turkey the recipe specified? or should i go for one of the variations suggested and buy some sausages and remove them from their casings? or should i just go my usual route and buy meat and grind it myself?

in the end, i went with the ground meat. it seemed like a good week to get over something that made no sense.

‘all you can do, rosemary — all any of us can do — is work to be something positive instead. that is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. the universe is what we make of it. it’s up to you to decide what part you will play. and what i see in you is a woman who has a clear idea of what she wants to be.’

rosemary gave a short laugh. ‘most days i wake up and have no idea what the hell i’m doing.’

he [dr. chef] puffed his cheeks. ‘i don’t mean the practical details. nobody ever figures those out. i mean the important thing. the thing i had to do, too.’ he made a clucking sound. he knew she would not understand it, but it came naturally. the sort of sound a mother made over a child learning to stand. ‘you’re trying to be someone good.’ (chambers, the long way to a small angry planet, 213)

it’s been a dark week for america and a particularly dark year for the whole damn world, what with brexit in the UK, the passage of HB2 in north carolina, the political shit being uncovered in korea*, etcetera. i spent election night weeping for my country, partly because of the living cheeto and his monster of a VP-elect headed for the white house but mostly because of what this has exposed about our country.

if you’re a person of color, a woman, someone who identifies as LGBTQ, the results of this election aren’t entirely surprising. we’ve known that the “post-racial society” white people liked to claim existed was a big fat lie; we’ve known that racism is still alive and well; and we’ve known that sexual violence against women was already something that’s somehow been normalized. we just hoped this country would show itself to be better than it clearly is.

i’m not here to rage about politics, though.

pre-apocalypse, i started thinking a lot about narratives, whether they’re narratives we tell ourselves about ourselves, about other people, about other cultures. i’ve been thinking about how these narratives shape how we expect people to behave, the lives we think they should live, the ways we think they should act and speak and want, and how these narratives can do one of two things:  close in on themselves and reinforce these same narratives or open up the whole world and the billions of people within it.

because the truth is that narratives matter. words matter. the things we say, the words we use form the narratives we tell ourselves, and these narratives say a lot more about us than we might want to think. they tell us about our worldviews, how we see and parse the world around us, and what is important to us. they tell us about our values; they tell us about our priorities.

they tell us how we think of and regard the people around us.

* seriously. google park geun-hye.

the first thing i ever cooked for my wife, grace, were these meatballs. i made the mixture at my apartment, then packed it up with a box of pasta, ingredients for sauce, and a pot (she told me she had only a skillet) and took it all to her apartment … which soon became my aparment, too. (turshen, small victories, 168)

i get this secret thrill whenever julia turshen refers to her wife in small victories, and it makes me thrill with how normal it is, how being gay is really just another human way to be and love and exist with each other. a few weeks ago, a friend on instagram sent me a link to an article about patricia highsmith’s the price of salt, which was sort of revolutionary because it’s a story about lesbians who don’t meet a gruesome end. that’s really what kicked off all this thinking about narratives, and i know that nothing i’m saying here is new or groundbreaking, but, after a week like this, it feels worth saying anyway.

about a month ago, i read garrard conley’s boy erased, a memoir about his time in conversion therapy, which is the practice of trying to “convert” a gay person to being straight (and something the VP-elect believes in). the memoir plus the article combined made me think that here is why the [white] heteronormative narrative is so dangerous in its prevalence. when you don’t see stories of other possibilities, you can’t empathize with the Other, and we can’t break down the barriers that create and enforce the Other. beyond that, though, when we don’t see stories of other possibilities, we learn to see ourselves as the Other, to hide in shame, to be afraid of the things that make us different, that put targets on our backs as we go on with our everyday lives.

we learn to try to hide the things that make us different, and the majority learns to pounce on these weaknesses, these fears, to use narrative as a means to enforce shame so we try to repress parts of who we are and become “normal,” aka acceptable and “good,” capable of living “healthy,” “regular” lives (aka the goal of conversion therapy). we learn to fear who we are because of these supposed consequences of how we’ll “end up,” of the things and people we’ll lose, of the ugly ends we will meet.

and so narratives, again, aren’t only stories we tell ourselves. they’re weapons, tools with which to suppress and excise “sin,” and they’re prisons and cages. they’re ways to create fear because, sometimes, they’re not so far from the truth because it can actually cost us everything to be out, to be black, to be muslim. they can be used to instill shame and guilt, to stoke that monster until it consumes us and drives us into corners, into darkness, to suicide. 

at the same time, though, there’s the other side: narratives are hope, too; they’re the means through which we can heal. by offering our narratives, we offer others the ability to understand us, to empathize with us, to recognize themselves and realize they aren’t alone.

and, sometimes, i think, as creative people, we forget what we can do with our work. it’s easy to think of art as simply art, but we forget that a book is not just a book, a meal is not just a meal, that creating, too, is a way of fighting back, not only of finding hope again within ourselves but also of putting that hope back into the world. a story is a way of saying, here is one way of seeing the world, and all the great stories in the world come together with one message: be kind. be kind to yourselves, and be kind to each other. there is a multitude of us out here, and we are unique individuals to be valued equally, regardless of the color of our skin, the source of our faith, or the gender of the person we love.



we’re the unknown americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they’ve been told they’re supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we’re not that bad, maybe even that we’re a lot like them. and who would they hate then? (henríquez, the book of unknown americans, 237)

i flash froze most of my meatballs because i’m just one person and it’s nice to have things on-hand in your freezer. (i also keep biscuits and chicken stock and parmesan stock in my freezer.) (apparently, i always want to have the possibility for soup.) i ate the rest with homemade tomato sauce (which i also made according to the recipe) (this is weird; i modify everything), and i must say, these meatballs are SO good. they’re super flavorful, and they’re not dry, and they hold together very well — and they don’t use breadcrumbs, which i was very happy about.

and here, in the light of what is to come in the next four years, i leave you with some recommended reading:

  1. garrard conley, boy erased (riverhead, 2016)
  2. becky chambers, a long way to a small angry planet (hoddard & stoughton, 2015)
  3. cristina henriquez, the book of unknown americans (knopf, 2014)

brooklyn book festival, 2016!

today was the brooklyn book festival, aka one of my favorite days of the year! unfortunately, i didn't make it to all the panels i'd hoped; a weekend of little/bad sleep and the humidity drained me by mid-afternoon, especially because i started when the festival started, bright and early at ten am! here are some photos and panel recaps.


no attempts at introductions today; i'm pooped.

10 am:  unsung heroines
alexander chee (the queen of the night, hmh, 2016), desiree cooper (know the mother, wayne university press, 2016), irina reyn (the imperial wife, thomas dunne, 2016), moderated by clay smith (kirkus)

  • alexander chee:  this novel (the queen of the night) was my attempt to write about these women i would see at the edges of things or mentioned in a sentence in other works, where the line would be something like "she was a favorite of the emperor's" [or ...] "she could walk on her hands," and the narrative would move on from there — and i was like, wait a minute, can we go back to the woman who could walk on her hands?
    • AC:  i was a boy soprano — but, when you're a boy soprano, you know your voice will leave eventually. i think female sopranos know this, too, but they have longer than 3-5 years.
    • AC:  women had to become these supernatural women [...] to be seen as more than normal women.
  • desiree cooper:  women [hold] a lot of dimensions of their lives in secret, and it's sort of like a giant well-kept secret. [know the mother]'s not an autobiographical book, but it's definitely mined from the experiences of my friends.
    • DC:  detroit is not the kind of town where you can go very far without meeting people who are not like you. it was the gift that i got, to be able to step into different lives.
    • DC:  the stories hang together around the issue of what happens when gender asserts itself when you least expect it, when those roles come down on a woman.
    • DC:  i used to be a lawyer and worked in a corporate setting, and there really was a bathroom with two stalls [for women] in this office of 150 people. [she was pregnant at one point while working here.] when you can't even talk about a happy event, how do you talk about a loss? you hide every aspect of your womanness just to survive.
      • (the story she read from is written from the POV of a woman who miscarries while at work.)
  • irina reyn:  the 18th century is no joke; there's not a lot of information about that. it's a lot of things to negotiate with the historical narrative.
  • IR:  i think what's interesting [about writing historical fiction parallel to contemporary fiction] is that we get to ask "have we come a long way?" putting those side by side really asks those questions — "where are we now?"
  • DC:  women's rights are human rights. when you humanize women, everyone can relate to them.

11 am:  culinary comfort
julia turshen (small victories, chronicle, 2016), andie mitchell (eating in the middle, clarkson potter, 2016), pierre thiam (senegal, lake isle press, 2015), moderated by helen rosner (eater)

  • andie mitchell:  in my cookbook (eating in the middle), i talk about how losing 135 pounds doesn't mean you stop loving food. i had to shift my thinking of what is comfort food and how do i remake not only my mindset of comfort food and what i think those are.
  • pierre thiam:  senegal, our culture, is comfort food. we eat around the bowl, so anyone can come and mix in. there's always room for someone, a new perso, around the bowl. and for me that's comfort food, because of the love that's in it.
    • PT:  food is healing; it's love. in senegal, that's my inspiration and that's how i wanted the hook to be translated for american readers. i didn't want it to be just about recipes but about comfort and sharing.
  • julia turshen:  for most of my career, i feel i've been very tuned into other people's comfort.
  • JT:  i studied poetry in college, and i think of recipes as these poems, and they're [things] to translate what i did at home and condense them into instruction. i try to be as encouraging as possible. i think the biggest thing i try to do with recipes is try to answer questions before you ask them. it's sort of giving all these clues, and, within that, i find there to be opportunities for descriptive language.
    • JT:  i think food is the best thing to write about because there's so much to describe.
  • JT:  telling the stories that are true to you — that's what makes a cookbook successful.
    • JT:  the thing i love about cookbooks is that they're a means to tell stories [but then people take them and cook from them and these new stories come from them].
  • PT:  i don't think the cookbook should be approached as the bible because i don't cook that way. it's always an evolution, and i think that's how food works. it evolves, but you recognize the same dish even if it's not the same dish. cooking should be a personal, intimate affair, so you come with your own contribution to the recipe.

after my first two back-to-back panels, i moseyed around a little, browsed a little, snuck into a store to use the loo, then i managed to catch half of a poetry panel and hear ocean vuong (night sky with exit wounds, copper canyon press, 2016) and monica youn (blackacre, graywolf press, 2016) read — they're both so good.

1 pm:  witches
robert eggers (the witch), robyn wasserman (girls on fire, harper, 2016), alex mar (witches of america, FSG, 2015), moderated by jaya saxena (the daily dot)

  • alex mar:  paganism as an actual movement is now a phenomenon in this country.
    • AM:  there's a lot we see in film that's real; it's high drama. there's a specific reason for all of it. the reality is that a lot of things we associate with horror films is now actually — we should start to be more open-minded about how we view what these things are, which are part of a religious movement.
  • AM:  part of this [fear] is that paganism is related to radically independent women. we were joking about this earlier — about girls and how dangerous they are — but it's true.
  • robyn wasserman:  [...] these girls are children, and they're nice innocent little kids, but, somewhere, there's a turn, and it's like something has colonized this child, and this thing is a sexual impulse. and we as a society are so afraid of acknowledging sexuality and sexual feelings in adolescent girls [...] that we talk about it as a sort of colonizing. like the devil has taken over.
    • RW:  witchcraft [is] a tool you deploy against powerful women — but also, this idea that women can't be magical in their own right? if they have some kind of strong power, they must have been taken over by some greater power.
    • RW:  we're so terrified by female sexuality that we [make it this other thing].
  • robert eggers:  i think the misogyny of the early modern period was so great that they actually thought these girls were witches. witches were real.
  • RW:  there's something so threatening about girls doing something beyond the male gaze.
  • AM:  there's no evidence that anything we recognize as witchcraft was being practiced in salem.

why is there a photo of an apple cider doughnut? because i traded my email address for a doughnut, aka i signed up for a newsletter because it meant i could have a doughnut. which goes to say that enticing people with food? it works, folks. (heh, joking; i would've signed up, anyway.)

and that was the brooklyn book festival for me this year! thanks for reading!