The Contemporary essay as Self-Reflection

Katherine Lucky at Commonweal:

A pair of recent essay collections—Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror and Leslie Jamison’s Make It Scream, Make It Burn—invite easy comparisons. They were released within a month of each other. The current professional status of their authors is superficially similar: two established women writers in their thirties both living in Brooklyn. Each writes about weddings, travel, and the sensations of drugs and alcohol; each takes up overtly feminist topics, from defeated heroines and female rage to “difficult women” and women in pain. Even the two books’ bold text-only covers are similar: multicolored lettering in ochre, hot pink, and orange (Tolentino) and fuschia, peach, and sky blue (Jamison). But to my mind what really connects them is how Tolentino and Jamison reason. What’s objective, they demonstrate, is often subjective, or hypocritical, or at the very least, complicated.

more here.