Lez Liberty Lit: Boredom Banana Bread

Feature image of Saffron from Adina and Saffron in Crash Pad Series episode 303.

Graphic art of the "Lez," "Liberty," and "Lit" written across three books.

Hi and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

Considering the issue of boredom and the pandemic, Margaret Talbot at the New Yorker considers what boredom does to and for us, noting that “boredom, like many an inconvenient human sensation, can steal over a person at unseemly moments. And, in some ways, the psychic limbo of the pandemic has been a breeding ground for it—or at least for a restless, buzzing frustration that can feel a lot like it.”

Pride and Less Prejudice helps get queer kids books into pre-k to grade 3 classrooms.

Meanwhile, quoted in Brain Pickings, Zadie Smith considers the relationship of art, boredom, and labor:

“Why did you bake that banana bread? It was something to do… Out of an expanse of time, you carve a little area — that nobody asked you to carve — and you do “something.” But perhaps the difference between the kind of something that I’m used to, and this new culture of doing something, is the moral anxiety that surrounds it. The something that artists have always done is more usually cordoned off from the rest of society, and by mutual agreement this space is considered a sort of charming but basically useless playpen, in which adults get to behave like children — making up stories and drawing pictures and so on — though at least they provide some form of pleasure to serious people, doing actual jobs… As a consequence, art stands in a dubious relation to necessity — and to time itself.”

At Electric Literature, Amrita Brahmo considers the bourgeois romance of pandemic isolation.

“Having a space and going there and just doing a little something every day—it’s powerful because it’s a practice, and one day it just kind of clicks,” says visual artist Rachel Eulena Williams at the Creative Independent.

“From slave narratives to Michelle Obama, Black women must be simultaneously self-disclosing and self-protective,” notes Korintha Mitchell at Electric Literature on the balancing act within Black women’s memoir.

“This art project asks people about the day the American Dream died for them.”

Former Autostraddle editor and friend of the pod A.E. Osworth is teaching a course on reading literary witches as writers that looks very relevant to your interests.

Are we living in a tech dystopia? How do you tell?

Amazon has an “unhealthy degree of control” over the book marketplace, according to a joint letter that organizations representing publishers, bookstores, and writers sent to the House Antitrust Subcommittee last week.

I cannot emotionally handle considerations of an animal afterlife personally but if you can please enjoy this piece.

Read these nine books about “disreputable women” by women writers. Read these short books. Read these books when time is not a line. Read these Black sci-fi authors. Read these books about the importance of the postal service. Read these novels about climate change and these works of environmental literature from around the world. Read these books about unapologetic queerness and radical justice-seeking.

Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1089 articles for us.

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