Erin Wunker is a feminist killjoy, and she thinks you should be one, too.
Following in the tradition of Sara Ahmed (the originator of the concept of the "feminist killjoy"), Wunker brings memoir, theory, literary criticism, pop culture, and feminist thinking together in this collection of essays that take up Ahmed's project as a multi-faceted lens through which to read the world from a feminist point of view.
Neither totemic nor complete, the non-fiction essays that make up Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life attempt to think publicly about why we need feminism, and especially why we need the figure of the feminist killjoy, now. From the complicated practices of being a mother and a feminist, to building friendship amongst women as a community-building and -sustaining project, to writing that addresses rape culture from the Canadian context and beyond, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life invites the reader into a conversation about gender, feminism, and living in our inequitable world.
"If a feminist killjoy was to keep a notebook, scrawl down her thoughts and feelings as they come up, record her memories, her readings, and leave traces of herself as she is intertwined with others, then you might end up with a book rather like this one. Erin Wunker's Notes from a Feminist Killjoy takes up the figure of the feminist killjoy as a site of political potential, and as a life method, a way of handling situations that are difficult and demanding: from becoming a mother, living in a gendered body, to dealing with rape culture. This book offers a powerful plea for a feminism that is willing to kill any joy that derives from inequality and injustice. All feminist killjoys will want this book on their shelves!" —Sara Ahmed, former director of the Centre for Feminist Research and professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths (London), and author of Living a Feminist Life
"In our political and politicized world, it’s sometimes easy to downplay everyday experiences as simply that: everyday, the norm, what’s expected. But then along comes a book like Erin Wunker's Notes from a Feminist Killjoy to remind us that everyday experiences—women's shared experiences—matter. I am connected to other women because of events shared in this book—the killings at Pulse nightclub, the Ghomeshi trial, the community of #BeenRapedNeverReported—and I feel more connected to them having read Wunker's analysis and brilliant consideration of what they mean. I'm grateful for this smart and irreverent book, which so clearly and unapologetically says all the things I’ve been feeling but haven’t been able to articulate." —Megan Leslie, feminist, activist, former MP for Halifax and Deputy Leader of the NDP
"As plucky and resourceful as the heroines of her favorite novels, Erin Wunker once thought she didn't need feminism. She didn't want feminism, because who wants to be a bra-burner or man-hater? Feminists are no fun, right? But, confronted with a world where we teach girls to avoid rape rather than question rape's prevalence, where women's friendships are portrayed as catty and competitive, and where moms still fight to teach their girls about power, Wunker realized she needed feminism. She realized that the fear of being "no fun" holds many of us back from being the change we want to see in the world. In Notes From A Feminist Killjoy, Wunker embraces the concept of the killjoy, asking, whose fun is upheld by the patriarchy, anyway? Weaving deeply personal anecdotes with ideas from dozens of brilliant thinkers, conversing especially with Sara Ahmed, Wunker opens up space to talk about rapists who are loved ones, not strangers; about personal privilege; about how even feminists can devalue the situated knowledge that mothers hold. This book names the cultural pressure points that feminism must address now, in Wunker's hip, funny, teacherly voice. This book is an act of radical friendship: let Wunker be the savvy BFF who has your back as you let your inner killjoy roar." &mdashSonnet L'Abbe, Canadian poet and critic, and author of A Strange Relief and Killarnoe