My name means wicked. Unholy.
Ahab was my only. His tongue, my tongue. His flesh, my flesh.
I was a woman in love.
They robbed me first of Ahab’s breath. Then my sons.
I wasn’t thrown into the pit of dogs.
“Jezebel Revisits the Book of Kings” by Jeanann Verlee. Winner of the Third Coast Poetry Prize, first runner-up for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, and originally published at Third Coast Magazine, this poem also appears in Verlee’s second book, Said the Manic to the Muse (Write Bloody Publishing).
Dizzy dames don’t age well. An attractive young thing doing prat falls is disarming; an older woman stumbling around for laughs spells hip replacement. Sad to say, Bridget Jones has hung on to her once-endearing daffiness, self-deprecation, and wine dependency far past their collective expiration date. That’s one of the big reasons why her latest outing, called Mad About the Boy, is painful to read.
…If you’re looking for jolly feminist cultural commentary, give Mad About the Boy a pass and, instead, pick up The Book of Jezebel. This is a lavish encyclopedia composed of contributions from the writers and artists who’ve helped shape the Jezebel website, which was created in 2007 by award-winning writer, Anna Holmes. The Book of Jezebel is packed with gorgeous graphics and photos, as well as witty and unruly entries on everything from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books to speculums. Most gloriously, this is an encyclopedia with a voice. Take, for instance, the entry on conservative commentator Ann Coulter, which notes that she “subsists on a diet of kittens.” (70) There’s even a prophetic entry for Bridget Jones’s Diary, which observes that the enormous popularity of the first novel inspired the mostly “crappy” chick lit craze, which eventually cannibalized the genre’s original heroine. They got that right without even seeing this most recent Bridget Jones sequel.
Jezebel has been KILLING IT with their romance coverage this summer – check out Kelly Faircloth’s piece on the recent Romance Writers of America conference in NYC, and why the genre has gotten such a bad rap over the years:
It’s true that romance is often depicted as fundamentally silly, with—of course—Fabio as the crowning absurdity. But why is this particular form of entertainment so consistently a punchline? Why are these women treated as a such a joke? Even thriller writers and Tom Clancy wannabes don’t get so much shit. It’s fairly obvious at a basic level why books written by women about such gendered topics as feelings and relationships wouldn’t be taken even remotely seriously—sexism—but to get a deeper understanding, it makes sense to start with the great romance publishing boom of the early 1980s.