Off with Her Head!

The Denial of Women's Identity in Myth, Religion, and Culture

Off with Her Head!

Whereas many books look at how women's bodies are represented in different religions and cultures around the world, this work explores the site of a woman's voice and identity, her head. The female head threatens to disrupt the classic gender distinctions that link men to speech, identity, and mind while relegating women to silence, anonymity, and flesh. The contributors to this collection argue that the objectification of women as sexual and reproductive bodies results in their symbolic beheading. Decapitation occurs symbolically in myths as well as in actual practices such as veiling, head covering, and cosmetic highlighting, which by sexualizing a woman's face turns it into an extension of her body. The essays explore how similar treatments of the female head find their unique articulation in diverse religious traditions and cultures: in Hindu myths of beheading, in Buddhist and Tantric practices and poetry about the hair of female nuns, in the resistance to veiling by early Christian women at Corinth, in contemporary veiling practices in a Turkish village, in the eroticization of the female mouth in ancient Judaism, and in Greek and Roman cosmetic practices. Together these essays show how the depiction of the female head is critical for an understanding of gender and its influence on other fundamental religious and cultural issues.

Off with Her Head!

Henry VIII - The Life and Loves of Bluff King Hal

Off with Her Head!

Whether or not Henry VIII ever exclaimed 'Off with her head', history suggests that the sentiment would have appealed to his fiery nature, as this nursery rhyme from the middle of the eighteenth century suggests: "Bluff Henry the Eighth to six spouses was wedded: One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded." With a family history like this, it's little wonder that his younger daughter vowed that she would never marry, and died the celebrated Virgin Queen. Whether he was taking on the Pope, taking over the property and possessions of the monasteries, or taking to task the king of France, Henry VIII stamped his formidable mark on English history and has come down to us as one our most influential and colourful monarchs. Drawing on anecdotes, quotations and revealing snippets of historical fact, this book highlights the power and the passion, the intrigues and in-fighting which make his reign so fascinating.

Off with Their Heads!

Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood

Off with Their Heads!

When fairy tales moved from workrooms, taverns, and the fireside into the nursery, they not only lost much of their irreverent, earthy humor but were also deprived of their contestatory stance to official culture. Children's literature, Maria Tatar maintains, has always been more intent on producing docile minds than playful bodies. From its inception, it has openly endorsed a productive discipline that condemns idleness and disobedience along with most forms of social resistance.

The Invention of Wings

With Notes

The Invention of Wings

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special eBook edition of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved. Please note there is another digital edition available without Oprah’s notes. Go to Oprah.com/bookclub for more OBC 2.0 content

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Introduction by A. S. Byatt Illustrations by John Tenniel Includes commissioned endnotes Conceived by a shy British don on a golden afternoon to entertain ten-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass have delighted generations of readers in more than eighty languages. “The clue to the enduring fascination and greatness of the Alice books,” writes A. S. Byatt in her Introduction, “lies in language. It is play, and word-play, and its endless intriguing puzzles continue to reveal themselves long after we have ceased to be children.” Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Second Edition

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Second Edition

First published in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland began as a story told to Alice Liddell and her two sisters on a boating trip in July 1862. The novel follows Alice down a rabbit-hole and into a world of strange and wonderful characters who constantly turn everything upside down with their mind-boggling logic, word play, and fantastic parodies. Like the first, this second edition includes Carroll’s earlier story Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, which allows readers to trace the revisions and to compare Carroll’s own illustrations in the original with the famous John Tenniel illustrations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This edition also includes new appendix material: George MacDonald writing on the fantastic, the eighteenth-century children’s story Goody Two-Shoes, a section on film and television adaptations of Alice, and new illustrations.

After They Killed Our Father

A Refugee from the Killing Fields Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind

After They Killed Our Father

In 1980, at the age of ten, Loung Ung escaped a devastated Cambodia and flew to the US as a refugee. She and her eldest brother, with whom she escaped, left behind their three surviving siblings, and her book is alternately heart-wrenching and heart-warming, as it follows the parallel lives of Loung and her closest sister, Chou, during the 15 years it took for them to be reunited. Their two worlds were very different, and Loung's depiction of the contrast between her life in the affluent West and that of her sister, who navigated her way through landmine-strewn fields and survived raids by the Khmer Rouge, is laced with the guilt she feels about being the lucky one. This powerful story helps us to understand what happens when a family is torn apart by politics, adversity and war. It is also the compelling and inspirational tale of a remarkable woman.

Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore

Critical Essays on the Graphic Novels

Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore

Alan Moore, the idiosyncratic, controversial and often shocking writer of such works as Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and V for Vendetta, remains a benchmark for readers of comics and graphic novels. This collection investigates the political, social, cultural, and sexual ideologies that emerge from his seminal work, Lost Girls, and demonstrates how these ideologies relate to his larger body of work. Framed by Moore’s insistence upon deconstructing the myth of the superhero, each essay attends to the form and content of Moore’s comics under the rubric of his pervasive metaphor of the “politics of sexuality/the sexing of politics.”