Kelly S. Thompson served as a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces and writes about her experiences as a female soldier in her compelling debut memoir, Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces (McClelland & Stewart).
Lauren McKeon, author of F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism, writes, “In Girls Need Not Apply, Kelly S. Thompson presents us with a masterclass in resilience. With equal parts strength and vulnerability, Thompson navigates what it means to find belonging—and success—in a hyper-masculinized culture that was never built for women. A must-read for those of us who make it our daily habit to smash through age-old, sexist barriers.”
After several years of service, Kelly S. Thompson retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after an injury. She has an honours BA in Professional Writing from York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and is a PhD. candidate in Literary and Critical Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Her work has appeared in Macleans, Chatelaine, and Maisonneuve, as well as in various anthologies.
Swirling headlines, new revelations, another story breaking.... You know what the #MeToo movement needs right now? It needs books. Books to make us think deeper, ask questions, make connections, and figure out not only what's happening now, but also what needs to happen next.
Ascent of Women, by Sally Armstrong
Why we're taking notice: From our 2013 Q&A with Armstrong, "Look at the story of Malala, look at the one about the young woman who was gang raped to death in India, the one about Sahar Gul in Afghanistan. The stories about these girls make the front page. The world doesn't let go. We used to look the other way. Not anymore. These girls have become our daughters. Their case is our case. The issues affecting women and girls today are all over the news—on the front page. Yes—we're winning. Big time."
Putting Trials on Trial, by Elaine Craig
Why we're taking notice: "In pursuit of trial practices that are less harmful to sexual assault complainants as well as survivors of sexual violence more broadly, Putting Trials on Trial makes serious …
This week on The Chat, I’m in conversation with Vancouver writer and theatre artist Carmen Aguirre. Her powerful second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1, explores the many links between personal trauma, healing, and her life as an artist and activist. A follow-up to her Canada Reads winning bestseller, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, her new work mines the psychological, physical, and creative fallout of a brutal sexual assault committed against Aguirre when she was just 13 years old.
The Globe and Mail called the memoir “a powerful victory for survivors of abuse" while writer Alison Wearing says the book “roars with a kind of courage one rarely witnesses in this world. It is a harrowing read, horrific yet unexpectedly—almost impossibly—tender.”
Trevor Corkum: How was Mexican Hooker #1 born? When did you realize that it would become a book?