Elevate Difference

Reviews by Richenda Gould

Richenda Gould

Richenda Gould is a graduate of The New School's Eugene Lang College, where she studied writing and media, and became involved in the school's feminist organization and their chapter of V-DAY. She now freelances as a writer and web/graphic designer, and helps kids prepare for the SAT. You can find out more at RichendaGould.com, or see what else she's reading at Reading Backwards.

Pens and Needles: Women's Textualities in Early Modern England

Pens and Needles takes a new approach to the study of how women expressed themselves in Early Modern England (roughly 1500-1700). It has long been assumed that the gender roles we know today have been consistent over time. Pens, writing, communication, are the realm of men; needles, sewing, the home, are the realm of women. Frye disagrees; she gives extensive examples of women writing in the Early Modern era, from poetry to household accounts.

Redemption In Indigo

Karen Lord hails from Barbados, and her novel, Redemption in Indigo, is inspired by African folklore. I was born in Africa, and raised on similar stories—the trickster spider Anansi is only the beginning of this genre.

A Home For Mr. Easter

Tesana is a teenage girl lacking love. Her mother belittles her behavior, and the kids at school make fun of her. She is huge—both very tall and very overweight. She feels like a walking target, so it’s understandable that she has learned to escape into her imagination. When the bus ride home sucks, she dreams up a unicorn to carry her across the city. But daydreams can’t make everything better. When the popular jocks and cheerleaders try to make a victim of a bunny rabbit, Tesana unleashes all her pent-up anger on them. This is no ordinary bunny. He lays Easter eggs! He talks!

Sacred Hearts

Sarah Dunant's first historical novel, The Birth of Venus, captured my attention right away with one of the best openings I've ever read. I picked up Sacred Hearts hoping for something equally brilliant. While I enjoyed the book, it is not one that will make your heart race; instead, you should immerse yourself in it, let it surround you so you are living with the nuns, at their pace. Enjoy the opportunity to sink into another life and time.

In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist

In the beginning, woman was truly the sun. An authentic person. Now she is the moon, a wan and sickly moon, dependent on another, reflecting another’s brilliance. _ _... The time has come for us to recapture the sun hidden within us. These lines launched Seitō, a women's literary journal, in 1911 Tokyo. Hiratsuka Raichō was one of the founders, and she poured her emotions into this opening editorial.

Eleanor the Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

I have to say... I feel a little duped. There is nothing in the book's presentation to suggest that Eleanor the Queen is a reprint of a 1950s novel by Norah Lofts. Apparently Lofts was a prolific and best-selling author known for her "authentic use of period detail." I hadn’t heard of her, but I don’t follow the historical novel market, I just read them. I did not, however, finish reading this.


The field of comics, also sometimes known as graphic novels, is dominated by male creators and readers. However, there's been increasing push in the last few decades by women to enter the field and make their mark. Though comics drawn by women are gaining popularity, most are classified as "indie," distributed by small publishers that may not be able to advertise or place volumes in prominent bookstores.

All Around Wide Pre-Tied Headband

I have very thick hair. I don't bother with most barrettes or clasps; they just don't stay in. When I began ballet classes in elementary school, we had to factor in the time it took to wind my hair in a bun, which was covered by a knitted net. It took at least ten pins to hold it in place, often more. Naturally, I'm wary about what I spend my money on when it comes to my hair. Hard headbands give me headaches. Recently I've taken to soft headbands with rubber surfaces; the rubber helps keep them in place. But, these don't do much to cover up my laziness.

Joy Pendant

I fell in love with the Joy Pendant the moment I saw it. The sweeping, curling shape embodies a sensation of buoyancy. In it, I see a person spinning with excitement, astonished at their good fortune, then leaping up with arms outstretched, the only fitting expression of their happiness. The pendant does what it was meant to: it symbolizes joy. I began making my own jewelry in middle school and have become very discerning in my purchases since.

Remarkable Creatures

I'm a huge fan of Tracy Chevalier. Like a lot of people, I began with Girl with a Pearl Earring, and have since made my way through all but one of her other books. So of course I leapt at the chance to sample her newest offering. Like all her books, Remarkable Creatures begins with something tangible.

Chosen By Desire (The Guardians of Destiny)

Kate Perry is a pretty kickass chick. Her childhood dream was to be a ninja, and she's now a seventh degree Kung Fu blackbelt.

Louder Than Words: Marni

Louder Than Words is a series aimed at teenagers about teenage experiences. Atypically, the volumes are also written by teenagers.

Racing the Dark

Racing the Dark is unique among fantasy books. The world draws upon Pacific Island and East Asian cultures to create a rich blend very different from fantasy canon—an island nation with an animist religion centering on sacrifice and binding.

The Hebrew Tutor of Bel-Air

The back copy for The Hebrew Tutor paints a picture that is enticing: Under threat of nuclear war and the gorgeous California sun, the two [Norman and Bayla] forge a tentative truce. They may not be learning Hebrew, but through the miracle of motorcycles and the epiphanies of the road, Bayla and Norman just might learn to shape their own destinies.

Mating Ritual of the North American WASP

spoiler alert At its core, Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is wholly typical. Girl goes to Vegas. Girl gets drunk. Girl wakes up to find she married some stranger. Girl flees back to New York. Boy calls her up to tell her that, yes, they’re legally married. In time, Boy and Girl fall in love and decide to stay married. Mix in a secondary cliché plot: if they stay married, they get money.