Last week, a friend read my three books back to back in reverse order. She read FEM and said she could tell I was sad. Then jumped to Abandonment Issues and said I should be publishing for real (she just read “Okay Whitegirl”). She read passages from Back Like I Never Left aloud to a friend. She compared it overall to The Argonauts. So yea it was nice having new eyes on each book, tho it was also weird seeing it go backwards lol. I was like wait—. But I guess it doesn’t really matter because they’re all interwoven. Most of the pieces were written at the same time on one blog with different topics–dating, life in and around Newark, fashion. Hence the three books.
So, in reverse order, I’m posting excerpts from those projects. The first one is the intro from FEM called “Performing Femininity.” That’s about using clothes to cope. Another from FEM is a condensed version of “Dressing for Jail Visitation.” That’s about how the prison system uses fashion as a barrier to for friends and family to interact with imprisoned people. Then there’s the title piece from Abandonment Issues, which covers different kinds of disappearing acts in Newark. From my first book Back Like I Never Left, I have “Not Your Babymother.” That piece is about setting boundaries when you do start dating again.
Here are the essay links:
“Dressing for Jail Visitation”
“Not Your Babymother.”
Links for the three books:
FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion
Abandonment Issues: Alive in New Jersey
Back Like I Never Left: Dating as a Single Mother
Links to the three artists on the projects:
-Rachel Wagner 2020