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10 Middle Eastern writers you should know Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek in Paris, Sept. 26, 2014. (photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images) Author: Sophie Chamas Posted March 24, 2015 Sensational stories recycled and propagated by mainstream Western media and Hollywood films have painted a one-dimensional portrait of the Middle Eastern woman as a submissive victim of oppressive patriarchy and religion. But even a rudimentary exploration of the literature through which the region’s female writers have been articulating their personal memories as well as their social observations, critiques and visions for the past half century, would introduce not merely a counternarrative, but an anti-narrative — a literary refusal to whittle down the diversity of experiences lived by Middle Eastern women into a single, neatly defined condition.

Exclusive: Excerpt from Neil Gaiman's 'Trigger Warning' is here to warn you, literally. His new short story collection is titled Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (William Morrow). The phrase is commonly used online to warn people about content that "could upset them and trigger flashbacks or anxiety or terror," as Gaiman describes in the introduction. The collection features some of Gaiman's previously published work, along with a new American Gods story, Black Dog. USA TODAY has an exclusive excerpt from the introduction, along with the reveal of the book cover.

First the Seed The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology Jack Ralph Kloppenburg, Jr. Publication Year: 2004 First the Seed spotlights the history of plant breeding and shows how efforts to control the seed have shaped the emergence of the agricultural biotechnology industry. This second edition of a classic work in the political economy of science includes an extensive, new chapter updating the analysis to include the most recent developments in the struggle over the direction of crop genetic engineering. 1988 Cloth, 1990 Paperback, Cambridge University PressWinner of the Theodore Saloutos Award of the Agricultural History SocietyWinner of the Robert K. Goodbye, Boob Window: There’s a New Power Girl and She Is Rad as Heck After taking on the legacy mantle of Power Girl in her very first appearance over six months ago, new DC Comics character Tanya Spears is finally getting the chance to join the Teen Titans in their latest story arc, and we can’t wait to see what she’s got. A bit of background on the character: Tanya was first introduced in World’s Finest #23 as a super intelligent 17 year old scientist who helped Power Girl Karen Starr and Huntress Helena Wayne return to their home on Earth-2. After their departure, she discovered that she’d developed powers of super strength and flight similar to Power Girl’s, and in Worlds Finest #26 she was also bequeathed the name “Power Girl” by Starr’s attorney. So, basically, she’s the new Power Girl for Prime Earth. Now DC’s looking to ramp up interest in the character by promoting her throughout the most recently printed issues via this flashy splash page (though Eddie Berganza incorrectly lists her age as “16″ for some reason): (via Hitfix)

Native American Graphic Novel Selected As Among Year’s Best - Rural America The stereotype-smashing graphic novel Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection (AH Comics, 2015) has been anointed, taking its place on the School Library Journal’s prestigious Best Books list for 2015. It was chosen for its ability not just to entertain, but also enlighten. “Moonshot is a wonderful teaching tool,” said Pamela Vanderberg, Métis, Native Studies teacher at East Northumberland Secondary School, in Brighton, Ontario. “We need more up-to-date resources like this.” School Library Journal is the world’s largest reviewer of children’s and young adult books, and when it speaks, schools and libraries pay attention.

Motherhood Series 2: Intersectionality I have already spoken (I feel like adding ‘at great length’) about the most common gender stereotypes associated to parenthood and motherhood. In a patriarchal society (that is to say, pretty much anywhere in the world), these stereotypes classify women as natural-born nurturers, beings who by essence are designed to take care of children and others at large, while men are positioned as providers, who need to fend off the outside world in order to materially and financially support their family. These sets of representations firmly place women and the roles they endorse within the domestic sphere whereas men are essentially defined as public creatures, leaving both sexes pigeon-holed in a rigid web of rules that prevent them from fully realising themselves. However, while patriarchy harms both men and women, it is paramount to highlight that the patriarchal system benefits men by putting resources, power and privileges in their hands, leaving women oppressed and dominated. Like this:

Seven Tips from Edgar Allan Poe on How to Write Vivid Stories and Poems There may be no more a macabrely misogynistic sentence in English literature than Edgar Allan Poe’s contention that “the death… of a beautiful woman” is “unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.” (His perhaps ironic observation prompted Sylvia Plath to write, over a hundred years later, “The woman is perfected / Her dead / Body wears the smile of accomplishment.”) The sentence comes from Poe’s 1846 essay “The Philosophy of Composition,” and if this work were only known for its literary fetishization of what Elisabeth Bronfen calls “an aesthetically pleasing corpse”—marking deep anxieties about both “female sexuality and decay”—then it would indeed still be of interest to feminists and academics, though not perhaps to the average reader.

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