“The Merry Spinster,” Mallory Ortberg


It is with great excitement that I post this, the first ever edition of Lit, He Wrote.

This blog has, from the beginning, been an effort to celebrate diverse voices that are commonly marginalized, or generally “othered.” This, of course, came to reflect my own personal experience as a cisgendered woman. I don’t want this blog—and, in turn, my reading—to be limited by what I find the most relatable. That isn’t progress. The net must be cast wider.

Plus, Mal Ortberg is, like, legend status to me. For all he has done and continues to do for inclusivity, feminism, and everything in general, he belongs here.

In The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror, Ortberg reimagines folk tales and biblical stories, incorporating dark and terrifying twists. The stories are brimming with Ortberg’s signature humor and bravado, but gravitas is never lost. With every tongue-in-cheek reference to a familiar tale, you’re also side-swiped by dark reflections of humanity and gender. These moments, the ones that are closest to reality, become the most chilling of all. Continue reading


“Hunger,” Roxane Gay

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This is, without question, the most anticipated book I’ve discussed on Lit She Wrote. Historically, many of my choices have been books that have already been established in fiction and nonfiction circles. I work in a bookstore, so it takes a lot to get me excited about new release Tuesday, and even more to convince my bank account to buy anything in hardcover.

Roxane Gay has the unique ability to do both. Hunger is a memoir of Gay’s experience having what she calls an unruly body in a world that will show it no mercy. I tore through the first 75 percent of this book rapidly; I could barely put it down. At that point, however, I forced myself to slow down. Why? Because I didn’t want this book, in which I was seeing so much of my own experience, to end. Continue reading

“Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I have struggled for the past few days to decide what to post about on International Women’s Day. It seems as apropos a day as any to be writing for my feminist book blog, and I have a backlog of books to discuss, but I couldn’t make up my mind.

Luckily, when I arrived at work yesterday morning—an opening shift at a bookstore on New Release Tuesday—the answer was waiting for me on the bestseller table. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It ticked a lot of boxes. A book with “feminist” in the title, by a known feminist author, and one short enough to read in a day. I’m choosing to call it an International Women’s Day Eve miracle.

Continue reading