Review: Waveform by Marcia Aldrich

waveformTitle: Waveform – 21st Century Essays by Women

Author: Marcia Aldrich (Editor)

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

The Blurb

Waveform: Twenty-First-Century Essays by Women celebrates the role of women essayists in contemporary literature. Historically, women have been instrumental in moving the essay to center stage, and Waveform continues this rich tradition, further expanding the dynamic genre’s boundaries and testing its edges. With thirty essays by thirty distinguished and diverse women writers, this carefully constructed anthology incorporates works ranging from the traditional to the experimental.

Waveform champions the diversity of women’s approaches to the structure of the essay—today a site of invention and innovation, with experiments in collage, fragments, segmentation, braids, triptychs, and diptychs. Focused on these explorations of form, Waveform is not wed to a fixed theme or even to women’s experiences per se. It is not driven by subject matter but highlights the writers’ interaction with all manner of subject and circumstance through style, voice, tone, and structure.

This anthology presents some of the women who are shaping the essay today, mapping an ever-changing landscape. It is designed to place essays recently written by women such as Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Margo Jefferson, Jaquira Diaz, and Eula Biss into the hands of those who have been waiting patiently for something they could equally claim as their own.

The Review

I like reading essays. I like that most essays I read give me access to a world that I usually have no concept of or have never experienced. This is why I chose to request Waveform from NetGalley. As expected, the essays featured in Waveform opened up doors to the writers minds and let me be privy to events that I didn’t previously have access too.

What I found was that some of the essays were so beyond my ken that I struggled to actively follow along whereas others had be turning the page so quickly so that I could absorb more. I realised that essays, like great novels can be read at any time but there are certain times when a great piece of writing finds you when you need it most. I think that is what is special about Waveform. It is that kind of collection.

Waveform by Marcia Aldrich is available now.


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