After yet another frustrating year, it seems like this summer’s hottest new accessory is going to be a vaccine passport – but books are always trending, pandemic or not. These books are tackling social issues and showcasing decades-long feminist issues. Lazy Women’s editors have gathered the five most anticipated releases of summer 2021.
1. Lisa Taddeo: Animal
Like Taddeo’s first non-fiction, Three Women, her debut novel is another strong, female-centred story. Taddeo said in an interview that her main inspiration behind Animal was “mad woman” trope; she was keen on exploring how we think and talk about madness. In Animal, the thirty-something Joan, after witnessing a horrifying act of violence, flees New York City. What follows is a traumatized and exploited woman’s Kafkaesque metamorphosis from prey to predator; fuelled by female rage.
2. Kristen Arnett: With Teeth
Can you be afraid of your own son? This is the central question of Mostly Dead Things bestselling author’s new novel. The story follows the lives of the wannabe picture-perfect mother and wife, Sammie, her absent wife Monika, and their son Samson. Through her sharp and witty writing, Arnett explores the hidden, ugly feelings of motherhood, most specifically that of queer motherhood.
3. Thora Hjörleifsdottir: Magma
Have you ever thought back on a past relationship and realized just how insanely toxic it was? Have you ever wanted to please your partner so badly you started shapeshifting into someone or something different? Have you ever thought you were in love when in reality you were just delusional? If at least to one of these questions your answer is yes, then Magma is definitely a book for you.ut beware: the twenty-one years old Lija’s deception and then slow-burning escape will hit a little too close to home.
4. Still Mad: American Women Writers and the Feminist Imagination
Still Mad is a feminist theory anthology, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, authors of The Madwoman in the Attic. If you are eager to read manifestos from Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison and Judith Butler, then Still Mad is going to be your perfect summer read.
5. Eyal Press: Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America
“Essential worker” could have easily been the past year’s Word of the Year. Jobs that society labelled as “dirty” and “minimum-wage” suddenly emerged as the pandemic’s ace. Essential workers have worked tirelessly cleaning our hospitals, guarding prisons, serving us food, transporting us to work – and during the coronavirus pandemic it became apparent that despite these jobs’ perception in society, they are, indeed, essential in the proper functioning of the country. In his eye-opening new work, Press focuses on the United States and its exploitative nature when it comes to undocumented immigrant or less privileged workers.
Written by Tamara Csibra-Kaizler. Find her most recent pieces here!
Illustration by Zsofi Szlavy.