Saturday, January 18, 2014

What We're Reading

My weekend read is Sue Monk Kidd's new book, The Invention of Wings.  (Kidd the author of The Secret Life of Bees and the classic feminist theological memoir, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter).  

NPR's Book Review Finding Flight in "The Invention of Wings" says:

In simple terms, the book is the fictionalized history of the Grimké sisters, Sarah and Angelina (Nina), who were at the forefront of the abolitionist and women's rights movements, wound around the intriguing narrative of a young slave, Hetty, who was given to Sarah as an 11th birthday present. Sarah despises slavery, even at that early age, and out of principle attempts to reject the gift....


The novel is a textured masterpiece, quietly yet powerfully poking our consciences and our consciousness. What does it mean to be a sister, a friend, a woman, an outcast, a slave? How do we use our talents to better ourselves and our world? How do we give voice to our power, or learn to empower our voice?

The reviewer notes that she was "appalled that I had never heard of the Grimkés before, and thank the author sincerely for allowing me to make their acquaintance."  

The Grimke Sisters  were among the first female public abolitionist speakers.  Their testimony was particularly powerful as they recounted first-hand witnessing of slavery as daughters of a slaveholding family in South Carolina.  Sarah Grimke was arguably the first advocate for women's rights in her Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (1837).

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