Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Seven top books about faith & feminism

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Monica West received her BA from Duke University, her MA from New York University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She was a Southern Methodist University Kimbilio Fellow in 2014, and she will be a Hedgebrook Writer in Residence in 2021.

Revival Season is West's first novel.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books about women who grapple with—or reject and replace—patriarchal religion, including:
The Power by Naomi Alderman

Though not centered around an organized religion per se, Alderman’s novel imagines what happens when women have a special physical power that makes them omnipotent and potentially dangerous. One of the characters with this power—Allie—uses her abilities to escape a brutal home life and flee to a convent. Soon, other people recognize that she has the special ability to control her power, and they come to her for healing. Thus, she reinvents herself as Eve—a spiritual leader of a new matriarchal religion that believes that God is female and emphasizes the female deities in other religions. Even though power ultimately corrupts Eve and her mission, Alderman fuses feminism and faith to remind readers of what can be possible in the world.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue