Whatcha Reading, Amelia Bonow?

Every week we ask an interesting figure what they're digging into. Have ideas who we should reach out to? Let it fly: info@seattlereviewofbooks.com. Want to read more? Check out the archives.

Amelia Bonow is the co-founder of Shout Your Abortion. They just released their book, and they're having a book release party this Wednesday, December 5th, at the Neptune Theater. Join Amelia, Lindy West, Angela Garbes, El Sanchez, Alana Edmonson, DJs Stas & Moni, and the star-studded SYA house band for an amazing evening of "Reading, Shouting, and Performance," from a group of women who used the power of their true experiences to radically change the public conversation on abortion.

What are you reading now?

Heavy by Kiese Laymon. It’s a memoir about the author growing up in Mississippi, in the form of a letter to his mother, who was a brilliant black academic. His voice is singular and enormous; the title of the book feels like the only title it could have possibly had. It’s gorgeous and absolutely devastating in a way that feels acutely American.

What did you read last?

I read a book called Blacking Out: Remembering the things I drank to forgot by Sarah Hepola. It’s a memoir in which the author eventually gets sober. I really appreciated it because it wasn’t like “now I’m sober and everything is fine,” it was more like “now I’m sober and everything is weird in a different way that is probably slightly better”. It feels like everyone I know is currently trying to figure out how to manage their relationship to drugs and alcohol now that we are getting old and everything is hell.

What are you reading next?

I cannot wait to read Like a Mother by Angela Garbes and I’m not just saying that because she’s a contributor to Shout Your Abortion! Angela’s writing is breathtaking. I read a draft of the first chapter of Like a Mother about a year ago and am still thinking about it.

What book should people buy for a gift this holiday?

It is probably not a surprise that my Christmas wish has to do with everyone talking to their families about abortion, which is why I recommend Dr. Willie Parker’s Life’s Work: a Moral Argument for Choice. Dr. Parker is a black Christian abortion care provider who works in the deep south and he lays out his reasons for providing abortion in a clear, accessible, unimpeachable way. When SJW’s tell you to “go get your folks,” we are basically asking you to buy Dr. Parker’s book for members of your family who may have anti-choice leanings and then talk to them about how it made them feel.