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About women who read, for women who read.
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Words on Words


Essays & Original Words

 
 
 

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The Whole Hog

by Roxanne Fequiere


Roald Dahl paperbacks were one of my childhood cornerstones, along with Barbie dolls, stirrup leggings, and ABC’s TGIF lineup. While Miller-Boyett sitcoms and perma-curled dolls’ bangs aligned perfectly with the ’90s mood du jour, Dahl’s novels, like so many of my favorite books, felt temporally transportive. A precocious young reader, I didn’t have the context to pinpoint the exact era of my favorite tales, but I reveled in the faraway feel of it all. Imagine my surprise when I learned earlier this year that Matilda was published in 1988, the same year I was born (The Witches, 1983; Esio Trot, 1990!). In addition to all of his other writerly talents, Dahl had managed to craft an instant classic, something that felt as if it had always been there.

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Life Lessons

by Roxanne Fequiere


My book club selects each month’s title via online survey, so it’s pure coincidence that we ended up reading another school-focused narrative—in this case, Tara Westover’s Educated. Perhaps “school-focused” isn’t the right word to describe Westover’s memoir. The title references one of the standout details about Westover’s upbringing: that she grew up without any formal schooling, a fact that is thrown into high relief when she gains admission to Brigham Young University.

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You Will Not Own a Porsche One Day

by Nicole Skibola


In the garage of my childhood home is a large blown-up magazine story from Porsche Excellence Magazine mounted on a laminated plaque profiling the black Porsche …



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Coursework

by Roxanne Fequiere

In addition to reading one book a week this year, I’ve been reading two additional titles each month in my capacity as a member of two book clubs. Ideally, one or both …


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Early Reading Redux: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

By Olivia Aylmer

 

Is it any wonder that a voraciously curious, whip-smart young woman in search of answers—no matter the dark paths they lead her down—feels like the heroine …


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Like Clockwork

by Roxanne Fequiere

 


Yanking the smooth black laces taut on each foot, I stood up, wiggled my toes, and shifted my weight. Glancing around the store, I spied a full-length mirror across the room …

 

 

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A Regrettable Read

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Have you ever looked back on a specific moment in your personal history, and realized, with frightening clarity, exactly how naive you were?  ...

 

 

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Recipe for Romance

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

“The sweetest woman in the world can be the meanest woman in the world,” goes the 1971 song “Thin Line Between Love and Hate.” Presumably, this goes for men, too, ...

 

 

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On Crushes and Conversation

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Alexa and Drew, the two main characters of Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date meet less than a page into the book’s first chapter. Alexa, excited to see her sister, steps into a hotel elevator  ...

 

 

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Sex Ed, By The Book

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

It was bound to happen. Little bookish me, growing up in a house with several bookshelves twice my size, each one of them overflowing with decades worth of my parents’ books. ...
 

 

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In Defense of Froth

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

I wandered out of my room after powering through the second half of Valley of The Dolls, mildly dazed. It was my own fault, really—466 pages in two days—but my reaction was less related to the sheer volume ...
 

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Punching Down

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

You know those books—maybe they’re classics, maybe they’re new but very popular—that Everyone-But-You seems to have read? I imagine we all have a few. ...

 

 

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Thoughts on An American Psycho

 

by Roxanne Fequiere

 

 

As much as I love to read, I tend to turn to film when I want to feel my emotions externalized: an extended ugly cry courtesy of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? for instance, or the quickened heartbeat ...

 

 

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On the Edge of My Seat

 

by Roxanne Fequiere

 

 

The plans had been set for weeks. Thursday night, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Hardly a superfan myself, I’d agreed to attend mostly on account of Oscar Isaac’s presence in the movie.

 

 

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The Cult of the Authoress

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Renata Adler’s two novels—Speedboat and Pitch Dark, published in 1976 and 1983—are often referenced in tandem. After falling out of print, they were simultaneously re-released in 2013.

 

 

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Face Value

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

“Did you choose this one because of its cover?” my partner asked when he found me in bed, tearing through Eve Babitz’s Black Swans. I glared at him in a flash of indignation, then reconsidered. 


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Justice for Judith

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

As a sophomore in high school, longing for some money of my own and the sense of independence that comes with it, I accepted a job as a library page.


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Sail On, Silver Girl

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

As has become my bad habit, I waited until the weekend to settle on what title to read, leaving myself with two days to complete


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Confessions of an ‘80’s Baby

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

As we hurtle into summer and the second half of the year at an impossibly swift clip, the weather here in New York seems to be having an identity crisis of sorts. 


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Up, Up, Away, and Back Again

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

While pinballing from planet to planet and realm to realm this month, I’ve made a conscious effort to willingly suspend disbelief. After a lifetime of turning up my nose at fantastical plots, I wanted to at least give the genre a fair shake.


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Five Books in Four Weeks

 

by Linlee Allen
 

The trip to Canada was supposed to be a relatively simple five-day getaway to have my U.S. visa renewed: an interview ...


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A Wrinkle Revisted

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


Do you remember the collective frenzy we all worked ourselves into on account of the year 2000?


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The Future is Bright—Not White

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

I’ve long been puzzled by the kind of speculative fiction plot that takes a well-worn but earthly concept.


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On Strangers and Strange Lands

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Nearly everyone who offered science fiction recommendations mentioned Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness ... 


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The Time Has Come, The Wizard Said

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

I always felt as though Ms. Watson, a reedy woman with an ashen pixie cut and glasses that sat perpetually low on her nose... 

 

 

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Twyla Says

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


Not long after finishing dance luminary Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life, I took to Google, ...


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The Cult of the Splits

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


I am lying flat on my living room rug with my feet planted on the floor, a rectangular orange towel in my right hand. ...


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It's On My List

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


You know what they say about leading horses to water. I first encountered Erin Falconer’s How to Get Sh*t Done  ...


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Bachelor Dandies, Drinkers of Brandies

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


Picture it, if you will: Staten Island, 2005. My peers and I are sixteenish, and for some reason, it seems we’ve all made it ...


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How to be You and Me

by Roxanne Fequiere


Old habits die hard. It’s been just over two months since I left my corporate copywriting job, but the distinct chime of an ... 


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Friendship in the Rearview

by Roxanne Fequiere


As long as you don’t squint too hard, the 1950s still conjure a clean-cut, Norman Rockwell-style portrait in the mind’s eye, ... 


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The Other Loves of Our Lives

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

If you’re a woman, there’s a good chance that the first half of the title of Kayleen Schaefer’s Text Me When You Get Home: ... 


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Twinning at the Edge of Sanity

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

I wasn’t very far along into Alexandra Kleeman’s You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine—really, just a few pages in—when a certain ... 


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What Kind of Girl Talk Girl Are You?

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

The origin of our disagreement is now lost to me, but I can remember its denouement as if it were yesterday. Me, introverted and ... 


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What About Your Friends?

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Our Valentine’s Day plans were fairly straightforward. Whoever made it home first on the evening of February 14 would order ... 


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Maud Martha and Me (And You, Too)

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

The website said that there was one copy of Maud Martha in stock, but when I arrived at McNally Jackson last Sunday, it turned ...


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I Was There: Postcards from the Periphery

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Growing up, I spent so much time at my friend Kim’s house that it began to feel like an extension of my own. Several times a week ... 


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Other Voices, Upper Room

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

About a month ago, my old high school announced that it would close at the end of the year. Upon receiving the news, ...


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Dispatches From the Pantheon

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Have you ever seen The First Monday in May? It’s a documentary chronicling the inner workings of The Metropolitan Museum ... 


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The Black Girl Next Door: In Search of Specificity

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


As a child, Wednesdays were library days. Upon arrival at the old St. George branch of the New York Public Library,


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The Fresh Start Fallacy

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Toward the end of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, two sisters share a moment at a mental hospital—one, a visitor; the other, ...


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She For Whom Food Is Not Enough

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


For as long as I can remember, my mother was a one-woman cheer squad for all the things we might now classify as black ... 


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A Woolf in Progressive Clothing

 

by Roxanne Fequiere


To grapple with the white gaze in its various forms—insidious and clunky, violent and patronizing, dismissive and invasive ...


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Our Lady Helen of Perpetual Self-Help

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Helen Gurley Brown was wildly, fiercely, boldly ahead of her time—until she wasn’t. 


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A Bookish Year: A Fresh Start

 

by Roxanne Fequiere
 

Join Roxanne on her first essay chronicling her desire to stick with a resolution this year. 


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