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Hello lovelies!

I read so much this week and so much has happened in pop culture (JLaw is engaged! New Ari! Grammys on Sunday! AOC killing it everywhere!). I also got to experience a little professional victory lap. I put a ton of work into this amazing, just published, Architectural Digest feature on my boss, Derek Blasberg. 

However, this week we have a special guest editor on the Pink Things Weekly to recommend some amazing feminist books. Sarah O’Flaherty wrote up a great piece, A Year Of Feminist Reading, for Pink Things and we're sharing it here with you, as well as 3 of her 10 recommendations from the past year. 

I'll see your inbox again next week! 

xx Sarah

 

Sarah O'Flaherty

On a particularly warm day in the spring of 2017, I wrote my final university exam. It was for my African Literature course — one I hadn’t necessarily needed to take for my degree, but thoroughly enjoyed taking nonetheless. I took my time writing the exam — the three hour slot was far too generous, but it was a new professor to the school and she was eager to have a successful semester and happy students. I wrote languidly, soaking in my surroundings: the beautiful clock tower that the exam was being held in, the sun streaming in through the windows, the sounds of students chattering outside on the field. I loved the school that had become my home, the studies that had become my passion, and for the first time, I felt sad to move on. I hadn’t expected to love studying literature as I much as I came to, and I felt a deep sorrow that it was ending. 

After the exam, I walked home and started packing up the room that had been home for years. It was rather anticlimactic. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had just graduated from university. I was 21 and about to move to Toronto with all of my earthly possessions packed tightly into the back of my car, my roommate in the front seat, and our cat on her lap. Up until the moment I put my key in the ignition, it didn’t feel real. But, the moment I pulled out of our driveway, I felt alive. The experience was new, exciting, liberating. I felt like I could do anything, be anything — all I had to do was decide where to start. It was like the beginning of any great story — the protagonist is on the precipice of greatness, and you can just feel the possibilities that await them on every page.

Fast forward six months and the excitement quickly faded — I was working in the corporate world where everyone was named Frank or Gary and had children that were my age. I felt like I’d hit a wall — I was stagnant. I bemoaned my new life to my roommate constantly. I longed for the days of sitting in beautiful stone libraries reading and studying, or the conversations I’d have in class about my favourite authors, or when my heart would soar while reading a passage that resonated with me in a special way. I was searching for a way to ignite that passion again, but I felt powerless. I lamented to my roommate about how much I enjoyed studying literature and how badly I missed it until, once she was finally sick of my complaints, she reminded me that I didn't need a class to determine what I spent my time reading. I decided to engage in an activity: I would read only books written by women for a month.

 
One of my best friends, Maddy, has been a Joan Didion fan since the day I met her. I finally caved and read this book and have never been more furious at myself than I was upon finishing it, recognizing the years of my life that this book could have influenced that I missed out on. 
This seems like an obvious choice, but sometimes choices are obvious for a reason. Gay’s Bad Feminist came into my life when I needed it most — it transformed from my commuting read to a book I couldn’t bear to put down. Gay writes about both the personal and cultural in a way that seamlessly integrates the two into one, and in doing so, challenges the reader and herself every step of the way.
Again, a classic. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read Angelou until this year. This autobiography details Angelou’s early years and traumas. She covers racism, rape, identity, dignity, family and literacy in a book that isn’t for the faint of heart but is necessary for the soul.
Psst. This is a new newsletter, joining the race of amazing newsletters everywhere (my favorites are GNI, Ann Friedman Weekly, and the NYT's Gender Letter). It would be super awesome if you were to share it with a friend and get them to subscribe as well. Then I might be able to lure sure cool brands to our platform and finally pay myself (and Malaika) for all of this amazing pink work I (we) do <3 Thanks in advance!
 
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