Elevate Difference

Reviews of Sumach Press


Those who are avid readers often fondly remember the books that seemed to have changed our lives. Many of the books that have stuck with me, I read during my teenage years. Adolescence is a time in life when people struggle with identity and seek to be understood. The books we connect with at this time can be an extremely powerful influence—sometimes as powerful as a friend, a counselor, or a family member. Not much time has passed since I was a teen, but young adult books seem a lot different to me now.

Who's Your Daddy?

Postmodern indeed. As a single Black lesbian mother, I assumed that a resource like this wouldn’t yet exist. On searching, I discovered a literary road map to queer parenting and family that is current, diverse and mini-encyclopedic in its breadth. Reading this work made me feel as though I had added to my family of choice.

Remembering Women Murdered by Men: Memorials Across Canada

Every day, women are dying. We outnumber men nine to one as victims of violence, and it is affecting society socially and economically. A recent study by the government of Canada estimates the health-related cost of violence towards women costs the Canadian taxpayer $1.5 billion annually. If women are dying at such an alarming rate, why hasn’t our plight received more attention? In the book Remembering Women Murdered by Men, The Cultural Memory Group attempts to provide a voice for the millions of victims of femicide.

Trans/forming Feminisms: Trans-Feminist Voices Speak Out

Krista Scott-Dixon’s collection, Trans/forming Feminisms: Transfeminist Voices Speak Out blending gender theory and a remarkable range of personal narratives, provides a powerful, complex and deeply moving introduction to a relatively neglected and misunderstood area of feminist study: the experiences, gendered multiplicity, personal and social struggles, and the touching humanity of people identified—for lack of a better term—as trans.

The Book of Mary

Initially, this novel annoyed me. It begins with the story of Mary at the age of 14. She is of marriageable age, but she is a willful girl who is not only literate, but a teenager with ideas of her own. She sneaks out at night, and catches the eye of a young man named Jeremiah at a brothel, where she is allowed to dance. Joseph is there, too, and he has his eye on Mary, but she finds him to be dull. Mary and Jeremiah fall in love, and Mary gets pregnant. She then finds that Jeremiah is a rogue.