We Are Not Hysterical – Strand Book Store – Medium
Strong female voices you need to listen to
By Strand Book Store

On the heels of yet another female U.S. Senator being told to more or less “calm down” while passionately doing the job she was elected to do, we are again wondering this: why are outspoken women so quickly accused of being hysterical? Being unapologetically loud and standing firm on your values are viewed very differently among genders, and when this perceived “hysteria” halts progress, we have a problem. Though this is not the first time this has happened, and unfortunately probably not the last, we know a little opposition can’t keep ’em down! We’ve gathered up some inspiring reads that demonstrate the power and success of strong female voices.

Mi temor tenía raíces más complejas. Kierkegaard escribió en su diario que el temor es atracción, y tenía razón. El temor es una llamada y podía sentir su tirón, pero ¿por qué? ¿Qué había visto u oído que me hacía sentir aquel suave pero firme tirón? La percepción no es nunca pasiva. No sólo somos receptores del mundo que nos rodea, también somos sus activos creadores. En toda percepción hay algo alucinatorio y es fácil crearnos ilusiones.

Extraído de “El verano sin hombres” (2011) - Siri Hustvedt

‘I think about your thighs,’ he wrote in the second letter, 'and the warm, moist smell of your skin in the morning, and the tiny eyelash in each corner of your eye that I always notice when you first roll over to look at me. I don’t know why you are better and more beautiful than anybody else. I don’t know why your body is something I can’t stop thinking about, why those little flaws and ridges on your back are lovely to me or why the pale soft bottoms of your New Jersey feet that always wore shoes are more poignant than any other feet, but they are. I thought I would have more time to chart your body, to map its poles, its contours and terrains, its inner regions, both temperate and torrid - a whole topography of skin and muscle and bone. I didn’t tell you, but I imagined a lifetime as your cartographer, years of exploration and discovery that would keep changing the look of my map. It would always need to be redrawn and reconfigured to keep up with you. I’m sure I’ve missed things, Bill, or forgotten them, because half the time I’ve been wandering around your body blind drunk with happiness. There are still places I haven’t seen.’
—  Siri Hustvedt, What I Loved
Starting Sentences with “I”

Anonymous asked: “Most of my sentences start with the word ‘I’ or a character’s name. It makes the writing feel monotonous, but I can’t seem to fix it or change my habits. Any tips?”

What is most likely the issue is that your scenes contain only action. “I do this” or “he does that.” That’s not so much of an issue, but once you include more exposition and especially since it’s first person, the thoughts and feelings of the main character, the issue will likely resolve itself. 

Keep reading

Algunos de nosotros estamos predestinados a vivir en una caja de la que sólo podemos salir de vez en cuando. Nosotros, los de los espíritus condenados, los sentimientos frustrados, los corazones bloqueados y los pensamientos reprimidos, nosotros que anhelamos pronunciarnos alto y claro, fluir a raudales en torrentes de furia o júbilo o incluso locura, no tenemos un lugar donde poder ir, ningún lugar en el mundo, porque nadie nos aceptará como somos, y no hay nada que hacer, excepto abrazar el placer secreto de nuestras sublimaciones, el arco de una frase, el beso de una rima, la imagen plasmada sobre papel o sobre lienzo, la cantata interior, el bordado enclaustrado, el oscuro y soñado cielo en punto de cruz, o el infierno o el purgatorio o ninguno de los tres, pero debemos liberar ese sonido y esa furia, chocar los platillos aunque resuenen en el vacío. ¿Quién nos negará la mera pantomima del frenesí? ¿A nosotros, los actores que vamos de un lado al otro de un escenario sin público, con las entrañas palpitantes y agitando los puños?
—  Siri Hustvedt, El verano sin hombres
Every book is for someone. The act of writing may be solitary, but it is always a reach toward another person – a single person – since every book is read alone. The writer does not know for whom she writes. The reader’s face is invisible, and yet, every sentence inscribed on a page represents a bid for contact and a hope for understanding.
—  Siri Hustvedt, from “Living, Thinking, Looking: Author’s Note”
The recollections of an older man are different from those of a young man. What seemed vital at forty may lose its significance at seventy. We manufacture stories, after all, from the fleeting sensory material that bombards us at every instant, a fragmented series of pictures, conversations, odors, and the touch of things and people. We delete most of it to live with some semblance of order, and the reshuffling of memory goes on until we die.
—  Siri Hustvedt, What I Loved
It is no secret that, once gained, the objects of desire often lose their sweetness… After a big wedding, which in all its pomp and circumstance announces a marriage as a state of ultimate arrival, there is life with a real human being, who is inevitably myopic, weak, and idiosyncratic. The revolutionary eats and sleeps the revolution, the grand cleansing moment when a new order will triumph, and then, once it has happened, he finds himself wandering among corpses and ruins. Only human beings destroy themselves by ideas.
—  Siri Hustvedt
The girl in the hospital wasn’t a conversion patient. I don’t know what her diagnosis was, but she was obviously traumatized by her memories of having been hurt and violated. True stories can’t be told forward, only backward. We invent them from the vantage point of an ever-changing present and tell ourselves how they unfolded. Why one person who has been badly treated by a parent turns into a psychopath and another with similar treatment suffers from severe depression and yet another develops an inexplicable paralysis isn’t clear. What is clear is that memory is essential to who we are, and memories can be both implicit and explicit–unconscious and conscious.
—  Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves