Let Me Be Frank: A Book About Women Who Dressed Like Men To Do Shit They Weren’t Supposed To Do

HarperAudio. May 2022. 5:26 hrs. ISBN 9780063061088. $21.99. HIST
In this spirited debut, actor, comedian, and writer Dawson explores the legendary lives of 21 patriarchy-subverting women who dared to live their dreams. Each well-researched essay is full of intriguing facts and snarky asides, with diverse subjects hailing from a wide variety of time periods and countries. They’re not all heroes—one is Christian Caddell, who hunted “witches” in Scotland in the 17th century. Still, there are plenty of inspiring stories: see Ellen Craft, an enslaved woman whose daring escape involved dressing as a white male plantation owner, and Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi, who disguised herself as a man to compete in judo tournaments. Kendra Hoffman’s narration captures the spirit of Dawson’s essays, from “get a load of this” incredulity to delight at the ingenuity of these courageous women.
VERDICT An entertaining and well-narrated collection of historical sketches; suggest to those who enjoy feminist history or tales of women defying the odds.
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