Wednesday, October 3, 2018

0 Anita Sarkeesian and Ebony Adams, authors of HISTORY VS WOMEN, on embracing the process

We're delighted to have Anita Sarkeesian and Ebony Adams join us to share more about their book, HISTORY VS WOMEN: THE DEFIANT LIVES THAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW.

Anita and Ebony, what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Ebony: Writing this book taught me to enjoy the mess and embrace the process! There were many, many times while writing this book that the amount of research we wanted to do seemed overwhelming; when our edits just didn’t want to come together; when we worried that no one would care about these fascinating women we wanted to introduce them to. We had to let go of all of those fears and just get down to business. I learned to write the book a sentence at a time and stay in the moment.

Anita: I honestly never thought that I would write a book. It struck me as an insurmountable task, something that other people with some special gift might accomplish. Having Ebony work on this with me made it feel a lot more doable. It made what previously seemed impossible feel possible. We worked together really well and the collaborative process between us was enjoyable and energizing; it helped keep me going in those particularly tough stretches where I might otherwise have felt completely overwhelmed. As silly as it sounds, writing the book made me realize I could write a book.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

Ebony: I love working at libraries! I feel energized and inspired by seeing other people with their heads down, concentrating. It’s a nice communal way of working and researching. It’s also great to be surrounded by rows and rows of books because I’m able to remind myself that yes, other people have struggled and cried and torn out their hair -- but ultimately, they finished their books and I could finish mine. I’ve tried working in coffee shops but the truth is, I like being around people but I don’t want to hear their jibber-jabber. Also, I just wind up buying new pastries every 30 minutes and surfing the internet. I rarely get any actual work done in coffee shops.

Anita: I’ve never been good at writing or researching with any noise around me so, when it comes time to write, I usually opt for a quiet environment, like at home where the only real distraction is my cat. I usually don’t put music on but if I do it will be instrumental, and it’s usually something I know very well so it can just blend into the background.

What do you hope readers will take away from HISTORY VS WOMEN?

Ebony: I want readers to be awestruck by the sheer breadth of women’s achievement that’s recounted in the book. I want young girls who read this book to be dazzled by the heroines and chilled villains. I want everyone reading this book to be so fired up by the women inside that they immediately seek out more stories like these. But most of all, I want people to come away from this book knowing that our history books will always be lacking if we omit women’s stories.

Anita: I hope that our book contributes a tiny bit to young people of all genders growing up to create a world where there wouldn’t even be a need for a book like this, because in that world women’s stories and experiences are documented, respected, learned, taught, and valued. I hope that this moment in time, when we are desperately trying to excavate these lost histories in order to preserve what knowledge we have left of these lives will serve to prove how capable, competent, brilliant, wicked, and just plain human women are and always have been.


History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don't Want You to Know
by Anita Sarkeesian and Ebony Adams
Feiwel & Friends
Released 10/2/2018

Rebels, rulers, scientists, artists, warriors and villains
Women are, and have always been, all these things and more.

Looking through the ages and across the globe, Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, along with Ebony Adams PHD, have reclaimed the stories of twenty-five remarkable women who dared to defy history and change the world around them. From Mongolian wrestlers to Chinese pirates, Native American ballerinas to Egyptian scientists, Japanese novelists to British Prime Ministers, History vs Women will reframe the history that you thought you knew.

Featuring beautiful full-color illustrations of each woman and a bold graphic design, this standout nonfiction title is the perfect read for teens (or adults!) who want the true stories of phenomenal women from around the world and insight into how their lives and accomplishments impacted both their societies and our own.

Purchase History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don't Want You to Know at Amazon
Purchase History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don't Want You to Know at IndieBound
View History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don't Want You to Know on Goodreads


Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Best known as the creator and host of Feminist Frequency’s highly influential series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, Anita lectures at universities, conferences and game development studios around the world. Anita dreams of owning a life-size replica of Buffy’s scythe. She is the coauthor of History vs Women.

Ebony Adams, PhD, is an author, activist, and former college educator whose work highlights the lives and work of black women in the diaspora. She lives in Los Angeles with a steadily increasing collection of Doctor Who memorabilia. She writes widely on film criticism, social justice, and pop culture, and is the coauthor of History vs Women.


Have you had a chance to read HISTORY VS WOMEN yet? Have you co-written a book? Do you have someone who helps the impossible feel possible? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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