The Little Book of Feminist Saints

Julia Pierpont, illus. by Manjit Thapp. Random House, $18 (208p) ISBN 978-0-399-59274-4
Novelist Pierpont (Among Ten Thousand Things) and illustrator Thapp collaborate to create a patchwork of biographical sketches on groundbreaking women, from well-known figures such as former first lady Michelle Obama and the Brontë sisters to lesser-known women such as WWII lieutenant Grace Hopper. The format plays off the Catholic saint-of-the-day book, meant to be read in intervals as a source of daily inspiration. Each entry aims to delineate one of the fascinating experiences and contributions of a women Pierpont and Thapp deem worthy of secular feminist sainthood. Pierpont plays around with style of the entries with varying degrees of success. The entry on Barbara Jordan, for example, is written entirely in the second-person, which is distracting and provides no real grounding of Jordan’s accomplishments; the same is true for the entry on Ann and Cecile Richards, which is composed of quotes from the women themselves. There are moments when Pierpont strikes the perfect balance between style and content; the profiles of Helen Keller and Bea Arthur, for example, combine the right amount of introductory information with a written flair that renders these women as worthy idols. Thapp’s colorful painted portraits of each subject enhance the book’s appeal. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 03/06/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Other - 978-0-553-69191-7
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