Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World
Brazen is a surprising, clever, and genuinely moving book that I couldn’t recommend with more enthusiasm. Author and illustrator Penelope Bagieu offers us a graphic anthology of stories featuring resilient, innovative, and, as the title indicates, brazen women. Included stories feature inspiring women from the world over, from times ancient and modern. Bagieu depicts her subjects with such genuine affection and respect that it’s difficult to come away from this anthology with anything less than joy. The stories of many of the woman in this anthology aren’t widely known (as a result of the racism and sexism that have informed our historical narratives), which makes them even more unexpected and enjoyable. Some of the women included are Clementine Delait, a pioneering “bearded lady;” Las Mariposas, rebel sisters in Trujillo’s Dominican Republic; Agnodice, a groundbreaking gynecologist in ancient Greece; and Temple Grandin, a fierce advocate for autistic rights and an innovator in animal care. I was thrilled to learn about new facets of Josephine Baker, who I thought I already knew about. It was a thrill to learn that, in addition to defying racism in the entertainment industry, Baker was a force in both the French Resistance and the US Civil Rights Movement.
Each woman featured is exceptional in ways both large and quiet, reminding the reader that fame and renown are not the only ways one can to be exceptional. In all, this is a wonderful, important collection and is a delight in every way.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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