Readings for RR

JUNE 2016 READERS RETREAT SYLLABUS

The women at the center of these six essential titles are united in their attempts to navigate a host of fresh-off-your-Twitter-feed issues including but not limited to sexism, sizeism, public exhibitionism, boring boyfriends, violent boyfriends, cocaine, the internet, date rape, family secrets, judicial corruption, writer’s block, hookup culture, and Eastern European sex slavery. In genres ranging from memoir to crime thriller to short fiction, the scenes—even those that, on the face of it, seem far-fetched—are achingly familiar and all too real. 

June 19-22 | The Gant Conference Center | Aspen, CO
Click here for detailed information about the retreat and instructor.

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I’m Just a Person
by Tig Notaro
(Ecco)
Girl meets girl, girl gets life-threatening intestinal infection, girl’s mother dies, girl breaks up with girl, girl gets breast cancer, girl performs groundbreaking comedy routine about said tragedies, girl skyrockets to pop culture stardom. Notaro’s story is funny not because it’s true (although it is), but because it’s told by the world-class stand-up with wit and vulnerability.

Dating Tips for the Unemployed
by Iris Smyles
(Mariner)
The prodigiously inventive Smyles melds novel, autobiography, and all manner of asides as she flails at art, love, and friendship with the wry intelligence of someone just wise enough to realize they have no idea what they’re doing. A flat-out joy to read.

Sex Object
by Jessica Valenti
(Dey St.)
A zesty, zeitgeisty memoir in three acts—bodies, boys, and babies—from the cofounder of the trailblazing blog Feministing.com.

Shrill
by Lindy West
(Hachette)
The literary debut of a critic unafraid to knee the patriarchy in the groin—to wit, her slogan: “Silence is not an option.” West takes no prisoners, whether on the topic of rape culture, internet trolls, or loud-and-proud fat activism. We’re all ears!

Wilde Lake
by Laura Lippman
(William Morrow)
Lippman draws on two decades of crime reporting to produce a heart-stopping new thriller, which pivots on a state attorney’s drive and cunning as she unravels a baffling murder case with personal implications.

Hot Little Hands
Stories by Abigail Ulman
(Spiegel & Grau)
In this sardonic, smart, and thoroughly modern debut collection,
Ulman presents nine stories about young women on the verge of adulthood, motherhood, and more who make momentous decisions while delirious with desire.