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Original Essays | July 24, 2014

Jessica Valenti: IMG Full Frontal Feminism Revisited

It is arguably the worst and best time to be a feminist. In the years since I first wrote Full Frontal Feminism, we've seen a huge cultural shift in... Continue »
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JLP has commented on (2) products.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

JLP, January 1, 2011

Probably the best non-fiction book of the year. Wilkerson spent years interviewing people who had come up from the South to the North, over the period from just after World War I to after WWII. She alternates the stories of three of these people (a sharecropper's wife from Mississippi who came to Chicago, a citrus picker and union organizer from Florida who went to Harlem, and a doctor from Louisiana who ended up in Los Angeles) with historical data, data that shows that a lot of what we thought we knew about the people who came north just isn't so. They were generally better educated, harder-working and more stable, what some have called the "immigrant effect", for they were, indeed, immigrants in their own country. Like the folks who sailed steerage from Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy, the African-Americans who came north had grit and determination, and weren't afraid to face a new life in an unknown bourne. It's interesting to see the different ways Wilkerson's informants handled the change, who shucked off the South and who kept it with them, how in escaping one form of racism, they found another, how they raised their children and coped with a strange, new world. Gorgeously written, too. This sentence is typical: "Many of the people who left the South never exactly sat their children down to . . . tell them why they speak like melted butter and their children speak like footsteps on pavement . . ." Wilkerson's book is a "must" read.
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Venezia: Food and Dreams by Tessa Kiros
Venezia: Food and Dreams

JLP, October 29, 2009

I sat in my home in Chicago browsing through this book, but felt as though I were back in Venice. The photographs are gorgeous, the recipes delicious and easy to follow. But the book is so lovely you won't want it in your kitchen for fear of spills!
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