Comic series “Monstress” addresses survival, trauma and disabilities

BY BEATA GARRETT ’20

Written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda, “Monstress” is a comic series that follows protagonist Maika Halfwolf’s journey in learning about her mother’s death and unlocking a devastating power within. The series is set in 20th century Asia during a war between humans and Arcanics, a race descended from gods. The comics highlight the way women of color survive the trauma of war both alone and through the relationships they form with one another. The content is violent — touching upon topics such as slavery, physical disabilities and PTSD — but never becomes exploitative.

Justice Sotomayor pens children’s versions of her autobiography

Justice Sotomayor pens children’s versions of her autobiography

BY ISABEL RODRIGUEZ ’21

Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman and first-ever Hispanic person to hold a Supreme Court seat, has recently released two autobiographies, now abridged for young readers. Her writing journey began in 2013 with her autobiography, “My Beloved World,” which she then adapted into two new books designed for young readers.

YA giants Levithan, Westerfeld, Clare and Black visit Mount Holyoke

YA giants Levithan, Westerfeld, Clare and Black visit Mount Holyoke

BY BEATA GARRETT ’20

On the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke welcomed four young adult (YA) authors to speak about their recent series and to share their writing experiences. The panel included Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld and it was moderated by David Levithan.

Five memorable summer reads (for any time of the year)

Five memorable summer reads (for any time of the year)

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’20

What makes a good summer read? It’s something experts and book lovers have long debated. According to Reader’s Digest, books that are “an escape in and of themselves” make the best beach reads. PBS claims that summer is for “endless reading,” and therefore the perfect time to tackle a hefty volume which would present too much of a task during the academic year. According to Sarah Paust ’20, “If I’m home on the beach reading it, it’s a summer read!” 

Author Cristina Henríquez considers the power of fiction

BY SARAH CAVAR '20

On Tuesday, Cristina Henríquez, acclaimed author of Mount Holyoke Common Read “The Book of Unknown Americans,” spoke in Chapin auditorium. Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall began the evening by asking the waiting audience to consider: “What kind of community do we want to be in together?” 

2018 Common Read especially poignant this summer

BY CASEY ROEPKE ’21

The beginning of this summer was shaped by the Trump administration’s family separation policy. As photographs of toddlers in cages, recordings of children crying for their parents and statements of utter inaction from elected officials flooded the news cycle, Mount Holyoke students sat down to read this year’s Common Read, “The Book of Unknown Americans.” Within its pages they found solace and its captivating characters and bittersweet moments were made to seem even more important by the real-world events happening in the U.S.

J.K. Stein finds her voice in “The Director”

J.K. Stein finds her voice in “The Director”

BY DEANNA KALIAN ‘20

“The Director: A Memoir” by Stein is a narrative that begins during her early post-graduate years as she struggled to make her way in New York City. The story, which hit the shelves in January, details the relationship between 22-year-old Stein and a 65-year-old high-profile director. 

Dean Marcella Hall’s new book discusses friendship and feminism

Dean Marcella Hall’s new book discusses friendship and feminism

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’20

“Doing better starts with our very foundation, our relationships and community,” said Marcella Runell Hall, vice president for Student Life and dean of students. Hall spoke to the Mount Holyoke community on April 6 about her book, “UnCommon Bonds: Women Reflect on Race and Friendship.” The book, published earlier this month, is a collection of short stories, reflections and letters about interracial friendships between women.

“The Song of Achilles” recognizes the LGBT community with Greek mythology

“The Song of Achilles” recognizes the LGBT community with Greek mythology

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

“Circe” follows in the footsteps of “The Song of Achilles,” retelling famous threads of Greek mythology. Miller’s website describes “Circe,” a dramatized biography of the titular witch, as “a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.” 

Short stories offer an entertaining alternative to lengthy novels for busy, on-the-go bibliophiles

Short stories offer an entertaining alternative to lengthy novels for busy, on-the-go bibliophiles

BY DURE-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Works of literature do not often go viral, but recently a short story called “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian was widely shared and commented on. The story centers around a young college-aged woman who enters a rocky relationship with a considerably older man, and it explores the volatility of 21st century relationships. This theme resonated with a large crowd, as it paralleled the #MeToo movement that spread through social media. Due to its short length, “Cat Person” was able to spread like wildfire and impact thousands of people. 

Brittney Cooper advocates for “eloquent rage”

Brittney Cooper advocates for “eloquent rage”

BY BEATA GARRET ’20

“Friendships with Black girls have always saved my life,” Brittney Cooper said, reading an excerpt from her 2018 book, “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.” Cooper delivered her BOOM! conference keynote on April 3, and is a writer, public speaker and professor at Rutgers University.

John Oliver bashes Pence family with his new parody book

John Oliver bashes Pence family with his new parody book

BY ISABEL RODRIGUEZ ’21

Vice President Mike Pence’s worst nightmare takes shape in a story about a male bunny falling in love with another male bunny. Pence is known for being against same-sex marriage — he signed a religious freedom bill as governor of Indiana in 2015, which according to CNN, would allow businesses to turn away same-sex couples “in the name of ‘religious freedom.’”

DeLucia talks alternate histories and memory

DeLucia talks alternate histories and memory

BY RENN ELKINS ’20

DeLucia, a professor of history at Mount Holyoke, was there to discuss her recently published book, “Memory Lands: King Philip’s War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast.” DeLucia specializes in indigenous history. “Memory Lands” retells the narrative of a 17th century uprising in which the native residents of southern New England fought to expel the English colonial presence that infested their homeland.

A frosty March month celebrates poet Robert Frost’s 144th birthday

A frosty March month celebrates poet Robert Frost’s 144th birthday

BY DEANNA KALIAN ’20

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Penned by Robert Frost in the preface of his “Collected Poems,” this quote encapsulates his poetic thought process. Frost’s poems vividly capture a variety of emotions from unbridled joy to terrible sadness.

Mount Holyoke hosts its 95th Glascock Poetry Competition

Mount Holyoke hosts its 95th Glascock Poetry Competition

BY DURE-MAKNOON AHMED ’20

Mount Holyoke held its 95th Kathryn Irene Glascock ’22 Intercollegiate Poetry Competition on March 23 and 24. Past winners include the likes of Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell and James Merrill. Mount Holyoke alumna Gjertrud Schnackenberg ’75 won the competition twice.

Writers of color make groundbreaking wins at PEN Literary Awards

Writers of color make groundbreaking wins at PEN Literary Awards

BY ISABEL RODRIGUEZ ’21

Poets, Essayists, and Novelists  (PEN) held its annual Literary Awards commemoration at New York University on Feb. 20. Since it formed in 1963, the PEN American Literary Awards has honored authors of various genres, including but not limited to fiction, essays, biography, poetry, science writing, sports writing and drama and offers grants and fellowships.