The Binder Book List #16: finding writers outside the mainstream, plus a roadmap for working parents
by Out of the Binders
Hello! And welcome to issue #16 of the Binder Book List. Don't miss your chance to speak to your fellow writers at the next BinderCon NYC (October 29-30) – submit your proposed panels and workshops before May 31.
Drawing on her background in policy formation and crisis management, as well as in-depth interviews with global leaders, Michele Wucker shows in The Gray Rhino how you can recognize and counter looming threats to your work. Here's the Plan by Allyson Downey offers an inspiring roadmap for working mothers steering their careers through the parenting years. Laura Lis Scott's first book in The Candidate's Maid series, A Spy in Stilettos, is a comedy of manners, politics, and (a little) sex. Nora Zelevansky's funny, surprising novel Will You Won't You Want Me? is about Marjorie Plum, who peaked in high school and now has to figure out how to come of age all over again. Jennifer Brody's thrilling YA sci-fi debut, The 13th Continuum, takes place 1,000 years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction. Aimee Friedman's novel Two Summers follows two possible outcomes of one girl's seemingly small decision. In the thriller Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter, 29-year-old Althea uncovers a family secret: her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother each disappeared on their 30th birthdays.
This collection shares the voices of those outside the mainstream conversation about sexual violence. How did you find your diverse group of contributors?
I was (and still am) really invested in building relationships with people. I knew going into the book that no one had to trust me with their work and I worked and grew to make the book a space where people could write and share in a space where they could feel their work held. Although no book (or person, for that matter) is ever without flaws, because what I experienced working within mainstream anti-violence felt and looked so limiting and exclusionary – so many other voices were missing – I was really conscious of not wanting to replicate those same things in the anthology. I wanted a solid mix of first-time writers and also people who had been published before. I shared a call for submissions that did a lot of traveling around online. I simultaneously thought about who I looked up to and was actively learning from because I really wanted to make sure the anthology included people who were already in deep, decades into doing the work, and so I solicited pieces directly.
What roles do you think writing and reading have in healing trauma?
Wow! Well, for me, writing and reading are one of the main ways I have navigated the legacy of trauma in my body and life. And I mean on a actual and embodied level. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I’ve also facilitated a handful of writing workshops for people who want to write about trauma, queerness, disability, the body(ies) and so much more. As someone who has been writing about trauma and violence since I was a child, I also noticed that so many people have reservations and annoyances around hearing someone writing about trauma, especially writing from the really wounded places, the unhealed places. There’s this demand that people get well so they can have a distanced perspective to then write about trauma and I guess I’m more interested in seeing what we can find from writing inside those places. There is so much wisdom there and it’s so powerful to translate bodies of violence and knowledge into words.
Bronx, NY: Panel: "Women, Arts Activism, Creativity and Social Responsibility" at Bronx Book Fair (5/7, 3:40pm)
Cambridge, MA: Reading: Mission Hill by Pamela Wechsler at Harvard Book Store (5/12, 7pm)
Livonia, MI: Reading: Realizing River City by Melissa Grunow at Madonna University Library (5/19, 6pm)
Los Angeles, CA: Reading: Will You Won't You Want Me? by Nora Zelevansky at Book Soup (5/10, 7pm)
New York, NY: Launch: Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement edited by Jennifer Patterson at Bluestockings Bookstore (5/10, 7pm)
Phoenix, AZ: Workshop: "Writing the Memoir in Real Time" at Changing Hands Bookstore (5/12, 6:30pm)
Tempe, AZ: Launch: My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome by Amy Silverman at Changing Hands Bookstore (5/1, 3pm)
The Binder Book List is put together by volunteer organizers of Out of the Binders, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. You can support the org by doing your shopping with our Amazon Smile link. Want to get your own book on this list? Ask an admin of the binder how.