Jess Zimmerman’s last book, Basic Witches (Quirk Books/PRHPS, 2017, co-authored with Jaya Saxena), sold more than 37,000 copies in hard cover.
For Readers of books like Circe by Madeline Miller, and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Each chapter analyzes a female monster from Greek Mythology—Medusa, the Sphinx, Chimera, Charybdis, Scylla, the Hydra, Echidna, Lamia, the Harpies, the Furies, and the Sirens.
Takes advantage of the current interest in feminist cultural studies books. This book taps into a cultural trend of retellings of ancient mythologies, and Zimmerman gives fresh perspective on what these old stories mean for us today
Roxane Gay praised her: “Jess Zimmerman is risking it all so that the rest of us can see the map and the shape of the world and travel through it with a little more confidence, even change it for the better.”
Explores eleven different “unacceptable” female traits, with a different monstrous role model for each
Many books encourage women to embrace “undesirable” traits, but Zimmerman leverages images we’re familiar with from art and literature, and turns them into emblems—not just telling women to accept themselves, in other words, but giving them banners to hoist and follow.
“A graceful stylist who casts a wide literary and geographical net, Zimmerman can make nearly anything interesting…. Nearly every page, however, brings fresh insights into age-old myths or tragicomic observations on 21st-century womanhood…. A sparkling and perceptive critique of ancient ideas that still hold women back.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“A fresh look at female-coded monsters from mythology offers insight about embracing characteristics that people fear.”
“An engaging parsing that addresses the ways that sexism and misogyny constrain women, a provocative weaving of the personal and the political.”
“Many readers will feel the truth of this book in their bones as Zimmerman dissects the mythologies that still constrain women.”
—Christian Science Monitor
“Every one of these essays is muscular and dangerous, with a mouth full of teeth. Women and Other Monsters is sure to become a feminist classic.”
—Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
“A thoughtful and deeply personal set of meditations on two subjects dear to my heart. Though as I read this, I couldn’t help but feel that it had been written for me personally, I suspect that it was written for you too.”
—Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
“Women and Other Monsters reconsiders and spins anew myths that have long instructed and inspired us, detailing modern and longstanding terrors women face while illuminating the monstrous powers we may yet reclaim. I started to make a list of people I wanted to give this book to, then realized the answer was just ‘everyone I know.’ Jess Zimmerman’s writing is always a gift, and this is a work of epic bravery and beauty, brimming with insights that slice to the bone.”
—Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know
“Jess Zimmerman’s writing is always intimate and fierce, piercing and warm. I loved Women and Other Monsters—I ate it up, and it felt a little like it devoured me right back.”
—Scaachi Koul, author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
“We are so long overdue for new mythologies about women and power. Jess Zimmerman’s book is a pitch-perfect antidote to the sexist hash of our traditional stories.”
—Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her
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