Friday, May 05, 2006

totally bitchin'

Jervis, Lisa and Andi Zeisler, eds. bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine. Aug. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256p. resource list. ISBN-10: 0-374-11343-2. ISBN-13: 978-0-374-11343-8. $15.

for Library Journal

bitchfest represents an alternating mix of the most hilarious, alarming, and unexpected essays from Bitch Magazine's ten-year tenure. Over three-quarters of the works fall into the decade's latter half and, with the exception of an approving pre-scandal profile of Martha Stewart, all retain complete cultural currency. About-Face founder Kathy Bruin journals on the eve of her celebrated Don't Feed the Models postering campaign. Keely Savoie presents a brilliant journalistic brief on the 400+ animal species documented in homosexual relationships. Shauna Swartz turns out an indelible account of the severe life of reality porn actresses. bitchfest writers, a mix of thought leaders and unknown activists, share a talent for asking thorny questions: how can Westerners distinguish between American cosmetic labiaplasty and African genital mutilation? Why the preponderance of articles positioning housework as the exercise au courant? Why can't female Cosmo readers admit they're attracted to, rather than jealous of, waifs on the glossy covers? Readers new to the feminist quarterly will find the articles, almost without exception, original, intelligent, and well written. This compilation has staying power. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Elizabeth Kennedy, Oakland, CA