Posts Tagged ‘The New York Times’

It’s important till it’s not.

Remember those miners that were trapped in that country like a year ago? If  your answer is something along the line of “vaguely,” “kind of,” or “not really,” you’re (unfortunately) not alone. As it happens with most crises around the world—Haiti, Thailand, and all those other countries you heard about for all of five minutes in media time—the 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in Copiapó, Chile, have faded into a distant memory.

Most people have all but forgotten about them, and the media has moved on many times over; but it’s still a fresh reality for the miners and their families. Many of these miners are perfect examples of what happens when individuals are shoved into the spotlight for their 15 minutes of fame, only to be forgotten once the next big thing happens. Sad, but true.

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COMMENCEMENT by J. Courtney Sullivan was one of my favorite reads of the summer. This brilliantly written novel takes place at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and chronicles the friendships between four very spunky and distinctive girls.

To quote Sullivan’s website, “ It is a fascinating portrait of the first generation of women who have all the choices in the world, but no clear idea about which choices to make.”

Our leading ladies, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April, explore their Smith experiences quite differently. The main common ground between these Smithies is their friendships with each other.

Courtney Sullivan excellently depicts the trials and tribulations of the relationships between four great friends with contrasting personalities. She also addresses many rumors and stereotypes that coincide with single sex education. Girl-on-girl hook ups and even long-term lesbian relationships exist in Commencement—and it sheds light on individual situations for the readers.

Anyone can pick up a copy of this wondrous work of fiction in Barnes and Noble, readers don’t have to schlep into random “underground” bookstores to delve into the lives of Celia, Bree, Sally, and April. It’s an enjoyable read that doesn’t require any effort to comprehend; yet it is thought provoking enough to make you think anyway.

Over the summer, the New York Times gave Ms. Sullivan a glowing review, as did popular activist blog, feministing.com. If you can’t find a copy in any local bookstore check it out ASAP on amazon.com!

Kudos to Ms. Sullivan on a fantastic (and her first) novel—hopefully we will see many more coming our way!

Read the first chapter for free here.

~Krystie Yandoli