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New Book Releases Featuring Mona Chollet, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Azar Nafisi

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)


Here are three books coming out today that I'm excited to read!


Book cover of Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial, translated by Sophie R. Lewis

Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial, translated by Sophie R. Lewis (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:


"Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches is a 'brilliant, well-documented' celebration (Le Monde) by an acclaimed French feminist of the witch as a symbol of female rebellion and independence in the face of misogyny and persecution.


"Centuries after the infamous witch hunts that swept through Europe and America, witches continue to hold a unique fascination for many: as fairy tale villains, practitioners of pagan religion, as well as feminist icons. Witches are both the ultimate victim and the stubborn, elusive rebel. But who were the women who were accused and often killed for witchcraft? What types of women have centuries of terror censored, eliminated, and repressed?


"Celebrated feminist writer Mona Chollet explores three types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted: the independent woman, since widows and celibates were particularly targeted; the childless woman, since the time of the hunts marked the end of tolerance for those who claimed to control their fertility; and the elderly woman, who has always been an object of at best, pity, and at worst, horror. Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that these women continue to be harassed and oppressed. Rather than being a brief moment in history, the persecution of witches is an example of society's seemingly eternal misogyny, while women today are direct heirs to those who were hunted down and killed for their thoughts and actions.


"With fiery prose and arguments that range from the scholarly to the cultural, In Defense of Witches seeks to unite the mythic image of the witch with modern women who seek to live their lives on their own terms."


Why I want to read it:

I think I'm in a nonfiction kind of mood! Perhaps it's because I've been watching The Crucible with one of my classes—the first time in a long time that I've revisited that one—but this book sounds fascinating. I'm intrigued by the examination of the women who were targeted during witch hunts and the parallels to modern society.


 

Book cover of Erin Entrada Kelly's Those Kids from Fawn Creek

Erin Entrada Kelly's Those Kids from Fawn Creek (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:

"Every day in Fawn Creek, Louisiana, is exactly the same--until Orchid Mason arrives. From Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space, this contemporary school story set in small-town Louisiana is about friendship, family, deception, and being true to yourself and your dreams.


"There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They've been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that's not necessarily a great thing.


"There are thirteen desks in the seventh-grade classroom. That's because Renni Dean's father got a promotion, and the family moved to Grand Saintlodge, the nearest big town. Renni's desk is empty, but Renni still knows their secrets; is still pulling their strings.


"When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni's chair, the other seventh graders don't know what to think. Orchid--who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris--seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She's wearing a flower behind her ear.


"Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups--the self-proclaimed 'God Squad,' the jocks, the outsiders--just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?


"Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor winner Erin Entrada Kelly explores complex themes centered on family, friendships, and staying true to yourself. Those Kids from Fawn Creek will enchant fans of Thanhhà Lai's Inside Out & Back Again and Rebecca Stead's The List of Things That Will Not Change. "

Why I want to read it:

I've only read a few books by Kelly, but they've been amazing, and I'm trying to read more middle-grade fiction, so this book is definitely going on my list!


 

Book cover of Azar Nafisi's Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times

Azar Nafisi's Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:


"What is the role of literature in an era when one political party wages continual war on writers and the press? What is the connection between political strife in our daily lives, and the way we meet our enemies on the page in fiction? How can literature, through its free exchange, affect politics?


"In this galvanizing guide to literature as resistance, Nafisi seeks to answer these questions. Drawing on her experiences as a woman and voracious reader living in the Islamic Republic of Iran, her life as an immigrant in the United States, and her role as literature professor in both countries, she crafts an argument for why, in a genuine democracy, we must engage with the enemy, and how literature can be a vehicle for doing so.


"Structured as a series of letters to her father, who taught her as a child about how literature can rescue us in times of trauma, Nafisi explores the most probing questions of our time through the works of Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood, and more. "


Why I want to read it:

Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran has never been more relevant, so a new book from her considering the role of literature in rebellion and resistance is so appealing right now. I heard her on a recent podcast talking about book banning, and her perspective is one I'm eager to hear more of.


 

#pubdayshoutouts

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Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.


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