Racism, Colourism, Feminism, and Womanism in Toni Morrison’s Paradise

    Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 for her novel Beloved, and would go onto win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.  Her work encompasses a broad range of topics including notions of perceived, race, gender, and class.  Morrison’s 1997 novel Paradise exemplifies this diverse range of topics.  In […]

Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark: Language, Gender, an Thomas Hobbes

  Published in 1968, Outer Dark was Cormac McCarthy’s second novel, and is consistent in spirit with the dark, nihilist undertones of most of McCarthy’s work.  The narrative tells the story of a young woman named Rinthy who has had a child by her brother Culla.  Whilst Rinthy is laid up in bed after giving […]

BUtterfield 8, by John O’Hara: An Exploration of Race, Class, and Gender In The Depression

  John O’Hara broke out on the literary scene with his debut novel Appointment in Samarra and quickly followed it up with Butterfield 8, which would go one to be adopted into a film of the same name starring Elizabeth Taylor.  The film, though, would sanitized O’Hara’s narrative and undermine the class consciousness of O’Hara’s […]

Not All Men: Mansplained

There are a number of prominent female artists who have been reluctant to publicly identify as feminist. Taylor Swift, when asked about whether or not she was a feminist replied that she doesn’t see things as “guys versus girls”.  Lady Gaga has likewise renounced feminism, claiming that she ‘hails men” and “celebrate[s] American male culture”.  […]

Sydney Horler’s The Cage: Xenophobic Sexploitation

Author Sydney Horler worked as a newspaper man on Fleet Street during the early days of his career, and when WWI came around, he also worked for propaganda section of Air Intelligence (Wiki).  After the war and into the twilight of his career, Horler was a successful novelist who wrote popular pulp-era thrillers, some of […]

Lysistrata, by Aristophanes: Antiquity’s Lampoon of Patriarchy

It is very likely that when writing Lysistrata, Aristophanes did not intend to suggest that women ought to have a voice in the political arena, or that they belonged in any place other than the domestic sphere.  As a benefactor and representative of a patriarchal system, he likely sought to keep the system intact, but […]

Songs of Innocence: A Detective Novel’s Investigation of the Sex Trade

After reading Charles Ardai’s first novel Little Girl Lost (published under the pseudonym Richard Aleas), I was excited to read the second novel in the series.  Though I did not think Little Girl Lost was a perfectly executed novel (few novels are), it did display a form of storytelling that was entertaining and expressed a […]

Marlene NourbeSe Philip’s She Tries Her Tongue: Illuminating Shadows

I am not a huge reader of contemporary poetry because I find that in many instances, the various form or formlessness that poets embrace, coupled with their language is personal by nature.  It is perhaps cathartic for them, but there is not always an entry point into such work for a reader that doesn’t have […]

Ellery Queen’s Kill As Directed: A Prescription for Capitalism

  Who is Ellery Queen?  Well, he is both a pseudonym and a character.  Detective/Crime fiction novelists Daniel Nathan (who went by Frederic Danny), and Manford Lepofsky (who went by Manfred Bennington Lee), decided they’d form a crime fiction team and published their books under the name Ellery Queen (and for the sake of the […]

Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun (or The Fair Vow-Breaker): Constructs vs. Nature

    Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun: Or The Fair Vow-Breaker is a novella from the famous Restoration dramatist, but the novella lacks the kind of character development and dialogue that made Behn such a popular dramatist.  The story certainly has dramatic (or perhaps melodramatic) twists that would have no doubt been entertaining […]