Marieke Bivar
What Silence Can’t Hide

a review of

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman. Simon & Schuster, 2011, 304 pages

I wrote So Much Pretty because I wanted to talk about family and community and the ways in which things that have become familiar to us are often not what they seem, are rife with meanings that elude our selective senses, that turn us into unwitting accomplices, secret sharers of observable but unspeakable things. Our desires for security, or belonging or freedom suddenly becoming the weight that sinks us...I wanted to discuss how well meaning people are often complicit in destroying the things they most want to preserve.

--Cara Hoffman

from www.carahoffman.com

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Marieke Bivar
Creating a Community Against Abuse

A review of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, Edited by Ching-In Chen, Jai DuLani, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Preface by Andrea Smith. South End Press, 2011, 325 pp, $16

The Revolution Starts at Home is a series of articles, accounts, and discussions aimed at not only dealing with the aftermath of abuse, but also challenging the underlying institutions and values that perpetuate abuse and violence. The aim of the anti-violence movement, as Rebecca Farr of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) writes, is to “create a world where so many people are walking around with the skills and knowledge to support one another that there is no longer the need for anonymous hotlines.”

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Marieke Bivar
When the War Comes Home Cara Hoffman’s new novel examines the consequences of war when a damaged soldier returns home to a small town & she’s still in battle-ready mode

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Cara Hoffman

a review of

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman. Simon & Schuster, paper edition 2015, 289 pp. $26

What sacred thing could pass through her lips now? What choir could shield her from the sound of her own voice?

“I did terrible things,” she said.

“Of course you did, Troy said calmly. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

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Marieke Bivar
Women’s bodies as capital Laurie Penny’s essays say women will gain power by saying, “No!” in all spheres

a review of

Meat Market: Female Flesh under Capitalism by Laurie Penny. Zero Books, 2011, 68 pp., $12.95

“Contemporary pseudo-feminism is all about the power of yes. Yes, we want shoes, orgasms and menial office work. Yes, we want chocolate, snuggles, and straight hair. Yes, we will do all the dirty little jobs nobody else wants to do, yes, we will mop and sweep and photocopy and do the shopping and plan the meals and organise the parties and wipe up all the shit and the dirt and grin and strip and perform and straighten our backs and smile and say yes, again yes, we will do it all.”

—from Meat Market

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Marieke Bivar
Of Sports & Women’s Bodies Book review

a review of

The Little Communist Who Never Smiled by Lola Lafon. Seven Stories Press, 2016, 320 pp. English translation from French by Nick Caistor

“Today, it is an older, wearier Nadia who raises her arms. She leans into a back walkover, but she falters and falls. “I am not a perfect 10 anymore,” Nadia says. “I can only try my best.”

People Magazine, 1990 (she was 28)

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Marieke Bivar
Running to Find Ourselves New fiction from Cara Hoffman

a review of

Running by Cara Hoffman. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks 2018

Inspired by her own youth spent travelling and working in Greece, Cara Hoffman’s third novel, Running, is a suspenseful punk adventure tale.

It follows Bridey, Jasper and Milo, wild, hungry youths luring unwitting tourists to stay at a shabby Athens hotel in exchange for a place to crash and a commission to spend at the bar.

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