Aunt Lute Celebrates 30 years: Fearless Voices

Although all of our authors are fearless in raising their voices to an often dismissive and even hostile world, this week we are recognizing those who expose truths about their lives that are especially uncomfortable for mainstream culture. From the reclamation of female power within Puerto Rican communities in Reclaiming Medusa to the raw, taboo passions of Junglee Girl, to the South African activism in Call Me Woman, these authors open their most private selves to harsh criticism. Yet it is their willingness to write honestly in the face of demeaning reactions that broadens our understanding of what it means to be a woman, and empowers other writers to speak honestly about once-shameful truths. Aunt Lute would like to honor these authors for lending their Fearless Voices to us, and for pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior for women.

The short stories in Reclaiming Medusa bring a much-needed perspective to the Latin American literary scene. Creating spaces in which the socially prescribed “woman’s place” is questioned, problematized, and often subverted, these narratives reclaim women’s lost power in ways that are subtle, complex, and sometimes startling. This revised edition contains new stories by Carmen Valle and Carmen Lugo Filippi, as well as a provocative new “Translator’s Note” by editor and translator Diana L.Vélez.

In Junglee Girl, Ginu Kamani offers 11 tales of coming of age in India, including taboo subjects of sexual awakening and sexism. While tradition demands that women, especially “respectable” women leave these topics in silence, Kamani fearlessly claims her place as an Indian woman who can challenge societal conventions and define her own role.

Call Me Woman is the autobiography of Ellen Kuzwayo, a black South African woman whose life as a social worker, activist, and politician was woven into the political history of South Africa for almost 60 years. Kuzwayo’s autobiography documents a complex series of changes in herself and her culture, including the onset and devastation of apartheid.

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