Goddess of the Hunt
“Artemis was a beauty, a terror, a force that nature bowed to, but only because she had bowed to nature first.”
A poetry collection about the
life of Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunter. Told through her perspective
with the contribution of other Greek Goddesses. Eileen reimagines Artemis’s
life and interprets her vow of chastity as aromanticism and asexuality.
There’s not much I can say for
this as someone who isn’t an avid poetry reader, hence the short review, but I
really liked the way Eileen uses Artemis to discuss self-love, sexuality and
gender. It’s been a while since I’ve read mythology, but I’ve always had a soft
spot for mythological interpretations. I can’t say I connected with most of the
pieces, but the concept is unique.
There are also a few pieces which
are from the view of other goddesses around Artemis. I had anticipated finding
this jarring, but I was wholly surprised to find that I really enjoy their
snippets. It includes Demeter, Persephone, Athena and Hera. (Along with
others..) It’s a fun little read for anyone.
GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
*I received a copy via the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*
“Why do I have to deny myself something I want right now to prepare for a future that may or may not come?”
Through the eyes of her
therapist, we follow the life of Kim Jiyoung as she experiences everyday sexism
all from birth, youth and into her adulthood where she becomes a stay-at-home
mother, and begins to unravel under pressure.
Jiyoung first came to my attention last year when a member of
K-pop group Red Velvet, Irene, had recommended this book during a fan signing.
I still remember the aftermath where many of her male fans cursed her, insulted
her and even burnt pictures of her. Back then, a translation of the book did
not exist, so when I found out it was being translated, I jumped at the
opportunity to review one of South Korea’s best-selling feminist novels.
Rather than a full-length novel,
Kim Jiyoung is more of a series of anecdotes – a string of events that
chronicles her life, with interspersing stories of the women around her, e.g.
her mother, mother-in-law and sister. The style is very objective, and the tale
integrates quantitative and historical data.
The story is mainly set in Seoul,
SK, but her experience is universal. Jiyoung realises from a young age that
being a girl means something different, something less. She is served food last
in her family, and if her siblings need to share, her younger brother is
automatically given his own share while she shares with her sister. “He’s
the youngest.””You mean he’s the son!” Just those two lines
hit very close to home for me.
The story follows select moments
of her life that reflect that society she is in. From the schoolboys who tease
her to the men who force her to an uncomfortable alcohol-laden dinner party,
the everyday sexism she is forced to accept slowly takes a toll on her. This
book is so simple in its concept, and the fact that it angered so many men does
not surprise me. It holds a mirror to their privilege without actually calling
them out, uncomfortable enough to make them uncomfortable. It lays down the
facts and backs itself up, sending the message that hey this is what women are facing in
Korea and it’s not okay. The story of Kim Jiyoung is full of
silence but every bit powerful.
GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR