Between and , each woman bore two children; they lived together as a family. Holloway went to work; Byrne stayed home and raised the children. She wore a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots. She was a little slinky; she was very kinky. It seemed to Gaines like so much good, clean, superpatriotic fun. Gaines decided he needed another expert.
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Bender, left with three children under the age of 3, soon became painfully interested in studying how children cope with trauma. In , she conducted a study with Reginald Lourie, a medical resident under her supervision, investigating the effect of comics on four children brought to Bellevue Hospital for behavioral problems.
Tessie, 12, had witnessed her father, a convicted murderer, kill himself. She insisted on calling herself Shiera, after a comic-book girl who is always rescued at the last minute by the Flash. Kenneth, 11, had been raped. That hardly ended the controversy. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision.
For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:. Put a metal collar on WW with a chain running off from the panel, as though she were chained in the line of prisoners. Between these runs a short chain, about the length of a handcuff chain—this is what compels her to clasp her hands together. At her ankles show a pair of arms and hands, coming from out of the panel, clasping about her ankles. Later in the story, Wonder Woman is locked in a cell. She holds her neck chain between her teeth.
The chain runs taut between her teeth and the wall, where it is locked to a steel ring bolt. Marston shrugged it off. Miss R. And never in psychology. Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.
Gaines was hugely relieved, at least until September , when a letter arrived from John D.
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Jacobs, a U. Which is swell, I say. Marston was sure he knew what line not to cross. Harmless erotic fantasies are terrific, he said. In , Gaines and Marston signed an agreement for Wonder Woman to become a newspaper strip, syndicated by King Features. Busy with the newspaper strip, Marston hired an year-old student, Joye Hummel, to help him write comic-book scripts. Joye Hummel, now Joye Kelly, turned 90 this April; in June, she donated her collection of never-before-seen scripts and comic books to the Smithsonian Libraries.
Her stories were more innocent than his. Gaines had another kind of welcome to make, too. Marston, Byrne and Holloway, and even Harry G. Peter, the artist who drew Wonder Woman, had all been powerfully influenced by the suffrage, feminism and birth control movements.
And each of those movements had used chains as a centerpiece of its iconography. In , in Chicago, women representing the states where women had still not gained the right to vote marched in chains. More regularly, the art on that page was drawn by another staff artist, a woman named Lou Rogers.
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But he was also determined to keep the influence of Sanger on Wonder Woman a secret. He took that secret to his grave when he died in Wertham believed that comics were corrupting American kids, and turning them into juvenile delinquents. He especially disliked Wonder Woman. Her understated sense of humor, so deeply ingrained in her observations about the absurdities of life?
Whatever it is, you'll find it in spades in her Collected Stories , which compiles all of Davis's short fiction from her seminal Break It Down through Varieties of Disturbance Few writers' work lends itself so well to a compilation. Whether you pick stories at random or start at the beginning and work your way through the collection highly recommended , this is a book that feels like the best gift: fun, poignant, and endlessly rewarding.
Atwood is a master at conveying the inner landscape of her characters, and her novels are frequently peppered with sharp and incisive social commentary. Adored by both readers and critics, she has published over 40 works, including many books of poetry, and has won countless accolades, including the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Cat's Eye , written in , is the story of Elaine, a famous painter who returns to the city where she grew up for a retrospective exhibit of her work. Long flashbacks take the reader back to Elaine's childhood where she endured much emotional torment from her group of friends.
Cat's Eye is an uncanny portrayal of how cruel children can be to their peers, the toll it can take on the victims, and how that cruelty echoes on in the mind for years. Atwood brings Elaine's world alive for the reader in vivid and incandescent detail. In her short 53 years, Mary Shelley wrote novels, plays, short stories, essays, biographies, and travel books, but it's not surprising that she is best known for her novel Frankenstein.
It's hard to separate the idea of Frankenstein's monster from the popular icon he's become, but everyone should read the original novel. Shelley's gothic masterpiece, first published when she was only 20 years old, is far richer than the legacy it brought to life, a work of elegance and depth, more tragedy than monster story, exploring the dangers of hubris, the nature of so-called evil, the sorrows that lead us to our crimes, and the possibility that rejection and remorse are far greater horrors than any monster.
Highsmith is a master of stark, poetic prose, acclaimed for her relentless themes of murder and psychological torment. She is best known for her series of five Tom Ripley novels, popularly referred to as the Ripliad. Like the Ripley stories, Highsmith's debut book, Strangers on a Train , is most remembered for its adaptation to the screen. Its hypnotic plot revolves around a moment between two strangers and one very out-of-the-ordinary proposition: "…what an idea! We murder for each other, see? I kill your wife and you kill my father!
More than just a gripping thriller, this fascinating character study asks the question: What is the dividing line between sanity and madness, between the hunted and the hunter? Solnit is one of the most eloquent, urgent, and intelligent voices writing nonfiction today; from Men Explain Things to Me to Storming the Gates of Paradise , anything she's written is well worth reading. But her marvelous book of essays A Field Guide to Getting Lost might be her most poetic, ecstatic work. Field Guide is about the spaces between stability and risk, solitude, and the occasional claustrophobia of ordinary life.
With dreamlike transitions, Solnit considers a variety of examples which contrast created wildness with natural wilderness, including Passover, punk music, and suburban youth, the early death of a friend from an overdose, movie-making in the ruins of a mental hospital, and her affair with a hermit in the Southwestern desert. She explores the mysterious without puncturing the mystery, and that is a remarkable achievement indeed.
Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan
Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as metaphor.
On Photography is one of her seminal works, wherein she redefines and examines ways of seeing, representation, and reality. As Sontag writes in the first essay, "In Plato's Cave," "To collect photographs is to collect the world," and On Photography radically expands our consciousness of what it is to live in such a place.
If the only book you've read by Toni Morrison is her Pulitzer Prize—winning novel Beloved , you're missing out.
The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman
Known for her powerfully evocative prose, her grand mystical tales steeped in black history, her haunting and haunted characters, Morrison is an author whose body of work demands attention. Her third novel, Song of Solomon — Barack Obama's self-proclaimed favorite book — is a magnificent, epic story following Macon "Milkman" Dead, along with an assortment of characters whose lives touch, and at times endanger, his own.
Violence and a palpable fear of injustice pervades the people of this book, set in Michigan in the '30s through the '60s. But moreover, as the many characters emerge in full color for both Milkman and the reader, Song of Solomon is a book of awakenings, and a tale of one man's journey from defiance to action. As sinuous a novel as Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is, it is all the more remarkable on account of it being a debut — and a most assured one at that. The Mexican novelist and essayist's first fiction entwines multiple narratives and perspectives, shifting between them with the ease and gracefulness of a writer far beyond her years Faces in the Crowd was published when Luiselli was Faces in the Crowd , beyond its gorgeous writing and superb composition, is modest yet striking, measured yet salient.
Last fall, the National Book Foundation named Luiselli one of 's "5 under 35," and given the evident range of her myriad literary talents, it's no great wonder why.
Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail. Her unparalleled ability to paint a scene so exquisitely, and to inhabit her characters with such clarity and intensity, makes for an experience that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. To the Lighthouse , set in a weathered vacation home on the edge of a Scottish isle, depicts lives shaped by the temperament of the environment and the ancient myths of the sea.
To unfairly and unnecessarily elevate this book gives it so far to fall. What we have instead is something much more modest — an immersive look at a particular story of female sexuality, albeit refracted three ways. See the full list. And the boots belonged to my father.
In these stories, desire is desolation, with roots in trauma. All three women have been punished by men and shamed by other women. Even then he can take it or leave it.