Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women

Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women

Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women

Fierce: Essays by and about Dauntless Women


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Introducing Fierce, thirteen powerful, entwined biographies and memoirs that describe a staunchly Feminist approach: “To thine own self be true.” Historical documentation of human affairs informs the past, but what of the understated and overlooked herstories of half of the world’s population?

Fierce explores the lives of “masterless women” in education, entrepreneurship, religion, the armed forces, the arts, adventuring, and activism, celebrating their strengths and achievements while questioning the systems that erased the significance of their influence and importance. The writers range in age from their 20s to their 60s, and they hail from diverse heritages and orientations. By sharing the context of their unique life experiences, the authors emphasize their connection to each of their herstorical subjects, whose various provenances span continents and centuries. These essays shine a light on the shadowy, lesser-known impact that women have had on global history through the importance of each of these herstories:

• A writer questioning the pervasive sway of caste systems in her own life considers a humble 19th-century Indian woman who made a terrible sacrifice and changed an unfair law.

• The blacklisted Armenian intellectual who disappeared without a trace mirrors the loss of information about the essayist’s own family in the diaspora and similarly reflects the ongoing decline of her elderly mother’s cognitive abilities.

• A woman evoked from Native American oral history is inspiring a new generation of young women to create thoughtful and dynamic change inside and outside of their community.

• One writer’s antiwar sensibility is challenged and transforms into that of sympathetic recognition as she regards the roles of murderous aviatrixes in World War II.

Along with striking frontispiece illustrations, additional bonus material encompasses an extensive Reader’s Guide including book group materials and substantial writing and conversation prompts, creating a noteworthy compendium to aid contemplation and a better understanding of these herstories that analyzes their links to contemporary and future female narratives. Armed with this knowledge and these truths, each reader can become,

“A queen because she ruled over herself, and because she ruled over herself, a queen.” — From Radiant Identity: Chicaba Herstories

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990715450
Publisher: Nauset Press
Publication date: 06/01/2019
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

Table of Contents

Preface | 7

Foreword AND Introduction | 8

1. Nangeli: Her Defiant Breasts

By Meera Nair | 16

2. Baba Yaga Unleashed: The Night Witches

By Betsy Andrews | 34

3. Origins

By Taté Walker (Mniconjou Lakota) | 48

4. Reveling & Rebelling: A Look at the Life

of Ada “Bricktop” Smith

By Kara Lee Corthron | 74

5. Firebrand: The Radical Life and Times

of Annie Besant

By Leah Mueller | 92

6. Victorine and Laure in Manet’s Olympia: Seeing

and Not Seeing a Famous Painting

By Debra Brehmer | 111

7. Audacious Warrior: Ernestine L. Rose

By Edissa Nicolás-Huntsman | 24

8. Up from the Rubbish Heap: The Persistence of Julie D’Aubigny

By Caitlin Grace McDonnell | 155

9. The Blazing Worlds of Margaret Cavendish

By Robyn Kraft | 166

10. Radiant Identity: Chicaba Herstories

By Chicava HoneyChild | 181

11. Under the Cover of Breeches and Bayonet:

The Story of Deborah Sampson

By Jessie Serfilippi | 200

12. Rose-Poisoning: Beauty, Violence, and the Unknown

History of Zabel Yessayan

By Nancy Agabian | 224

13. Trek Across a Trackless Land

By Claudia Smith | 256

Reader’s Guide Questions | 275

Bibliography and Notes | 296

Contributors | 315

Appreciation | 318

Index | 319

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