RaveBookForumContinues this attempt to imagine a better world, at least for its author ... My Three Dads sees Crispin interrogate the structures she was given growing up in rural Kansas ... A diagnostic rumination—by turns grandly hopeful, abjectly misanthropic, and always opinionated—on the colossal problem of choosing how to live ... This would be a far less compelling book if Crispin’s desires yoked perfectly to her politics ... This habit of turning people into caricatures can be an annoying tic, but it is also flush with energy ... Crispin is best when she returns to the particulars ... The reward of reading Crispin’s book is commiseration, sharing her shame at wanting to want something different, but sometimes just wanting.
PositiveThe Chicago Review of BooksThis would be a very different, and less compelling book, if Krasnostein feigned agnosticism about who is more right then wrong, which she does not ... Here, in Krasnostein’s evident respect for all three of these believers, we see Krasnostein’s own beliefs find shape.
PositiveThe RumpusOrganized into four slim chapters that cover, among other subjects, writing about other people and writing about sex, it answers many of the questions that readers of Febos’ earlier work might have about those books ... Body Work’s most fundamental premise, though, is an invitation to her readers to engage in similar work, after recognizing their own experiences as worth writing about no matter how much the mainstream overlords of writing might reject what they have to say as too niche; too overdone; or, Febos writes, mere \'navel gazing\' ... If this sounds intimidating, I assure you—as a straight white woman, trying to be both happy and ethical, with a mind awhir with gleaming gears of unattributed design—it is, but it also isn’t. What I appreciate about Febos’ project is that it is not so doctrinal as to paralyze. Febos, who is unfailingly a generous and compassionate writer, does not require of us women writers the wholesale rejection of the systems in which we grew up and from which we are as inseparable as anyone else inside the capitalist maw ... The ethics of Body Work are not necessarily that we writers and lovers must achieve perfect consistency between our behaviors (shopping at Sephora) and our politics (beauty standards are harmful) ... There is a significant caveat, though, to this idea that Febos is teaching us not how to write, but how to be. As Febos points out, women writers who write about their experience of being women are asked by their interviewers not about the writing, but about those experiences themselves—as if the writer had not already carefully said what she wanted to say on that subject in the book.