Welcome to the inaugural post of “Read This, Read That,” where I invite friends, family, bloggers, and bibliophiles of all sorts to share some of their favorite books or writing with Mode and the Like. From novels and poems to cookbooks and art tomes, you’ll find here a diverse selection of recommended reading. I asked my friend Charlie to kick off this biweekly feature, since I truly admire her voice, opinion, and style, so without further ado, I give you Charlie’s pick.
Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship by Emily Rapp
recommended by Charlie
Fittingly, a female friend sent Emily Rapp’s eloquent essay to me, a reminder of the many ways she, like other female friends in my life, knows me well. In this impactful essay, Rapp discusses stereotypes about women, age, and friendship, touching on how we are often tempted to look outward, marking success by socially acceptable (and expected) achievements of others, and how, by looking inward to the female friendships we seek and form, we are more supportive and nurturing of the lives we and our friends lead.
Rapp hits on a resonant note – that there is a unique and intriguing unity that females form with one another, it’s a type of love that is resilient and loud. We vehemently (and quickly) declare love to one another, and in a far more honest way than I think we ever announce our love to men. It’s a different kind of love. It’s fierce. Protective. Unconditional.
Never has a family member or past boyfriend been able to pick me up in the same way as a close female friend can. There are friends I can count on to tell me when I’m being plain stupid, friends that I know, whether on the phone, over wine, or through email, will readily listen when I need a sympathetic ear. There are those who understand and accept my need to shut myself away, an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s body, and those who can bring out my unashamedly goofy and social ways. My female friends form the very essence of me. Whatever my life brings – womanhood has my back in a way that no other relationship – wonderful in its own right – can offer. My female friends understand me, whether I fit into an acceptable societal convention or not.
An England native, Charlie is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of San Francisco and now lives in Los Angeles. She’s a contributor for The Children’s Book Review, and when she’s not reading, she’s happily working on her first novel – stopping only to photograph the sunset. She misses the San Francisco fog, sometimes. www.fromthecafewindow.wordpress.com
Would you like to contribute to “Read This, Read That”? Send me an e-mail.