Thursday, May 21, 2009

RainTaxi reviews Belladonna book honoring Emma

Thought I'd link to this piece (better late than never), an amazing and thoughtful review of the fourth book in the Belladonna series, which honors Emma, written by Ellen Kennedy Michel of RainTaxi Review of Books. It has a lot to say about Girldrive, too--and it's very spot-on.

An excerpt about my essay in Belladonna:

"In her own contribution to Belladonna #4, “Emma’s Poetry,” Nona Willis Aronowitz writes: “Emma was always disappointed that ‘GIRLdrive the book’ could not possibly embody the headiness of ‘GIRLdrive the experience’. . . She wanted us to be more conspicuous characters in the story of GIRLdrive, more than just the talking heads of the odyssey that forged connections between hundreds of women across thirty-five cities.” Nona’s prose, both here and elsewhere, conveys the energy and intelligence of GIRLdrive. The two women knew how to seize the moment, identifying the gaps and the overlaps between their forebears and feminists (or “not”) of their own generation..."

And more specifically about Emma:

"It is clear from Belladonna #4 that feminism, photography, and artistic expression have lost a fierce, articulate, forthright, inquiring practitioner, the voice and vision of a young adult who was romantic, idealistic, impetuous, talented, and knowledgeable beyond her years. Her pace was fast, eager, and self-reflective. Emma’s photography (for which she earned a degree with Honors, with images such as the one here, of a friend) played with the notion of masquerade: “In all of the photographs, a set of elusive and unknowable eyes peers out from the layers of artifice, trying to see and be seen. There is a tragic element, as despite all the attempts at engendering an image that matches a mental picture, the woman underneath the clothes and behind the skin remains a mystery to us and to herself.” That Emma suffered so much at the end of her life confers a harder look at the issues that consumed her."

It's a great piece. Check out the rest here.