Small Press Fortnight: The Feminist Press
I have to start by saying that until now I didn’t even know what a fortnight was. While it’s one of those words used in classic British literature, I’ve never actually looked it up. It turns out that, according to Google, a fortnight is two weeks, or 14 days. I find this a random unit of measure, but interesting as well.
Small Press Fortnight is a project being hosted by Jodie of BookGazing after her internship with Peirene Press. She wanted to take some time to highlight some of the fantastic smaller and independent presses that exist, and the wonderful books that they publish. To this end she has invited a group of us to talk about some of our favourites. I’m honoured to have been asked, and I knew that I had to take the opportunity to talk about my favourite press – The Feminist Press in New York, at the City University of New York.
The Feminist Press is an independent nonprofit literary publisher that promotes freedom of expression and social justice. We publish exciting authors who share an activist spirit and a belief in choice and equality. Founded in 1970, we began by rescuing “lost” works by writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and established our publishing program with books by American writers of diverse racial and class backgrounds. Since then we have also been bringing works from around the world to North American readers. We seek out innovative, often surprising books that tell a different story.
The books published by The Feminist Press have always been really interesting. Their catalogue includes fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. The books discuss women’s health, safety, cultural resistance, sociology, size acceptance, GLBTQ issues, and more. Some of the titles that I’ve been absolutely blown away by include:
- Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body by Lesley Kinzel
- Rape New York by Jana Leo
- Complaints & Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
- Hey Shorty! A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets by Joanne N Smith, Mandy van Deven and Meghan Huppuch of Girls for Gender Equity
- Revenge by Taslima Nasrin
- His Own Where by June Jordan
- Who is Ana Mendieta? by Christine Redfern and Caro Caron
But the BEST thing about The Feminist Press? You can become a ‘Friend of FP‘ for a monthly or yearly amount and receive their books, hot off the press. Many of them come signed, and it is always the most exciting package landing in my mailbox! Unfortunately, double checking this, I see that the cost has been raised ($20 a month or $150 a year in the US, $250 a year in Canada, $300 a year elsewhere) making it less feasible for me in Canada (booooo) but it has been really exciting for the past two years anyway.
Note: You’d almost think I got some kind of cut from them, from the amount of enthusiasm I always show. This isn’t the case, I just apparently get really excited about smart Feminist books. And their books always are both smart and feminist!
I want to know – have you ever read a book published by The Feminist Press? Any in particular that you’re a huge fan of?