Our Red Book: Intimate Histories of Periods, Growing & Changing

S. & S. Nov. 2022. 384p. ed. by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. ISBN 9781982168650. $27.99. HEALTH
Nalebuff (editor of the anthology My Little Red Book) collects yet more personal stories about menstruation from writers, experts, community leaders, activists, young people, and other visionaries, some solicited in interviews and others by submission. These short essays, graphics, and poems comprise a variety of perspectives, cultures, and gender identities, and they’re grouped based on the respondents’ experiences and their responses to Nalebuff’s questions. Beyond addressing the onset of periods, contributors also touch on menopause, gender dysphoria, religion, menstruation complications, and their experiences helping their children navigate their first periods. The respondents’ feelings toward their periods are complex. Some celebrate them and believe that menarche is a transition to adulthood. Others view their periods with shame and apprehension and feel the burden of responsibility that it brings. The collection includes contributions from activists who raise awareness about the reality of periods for incarcerated people, the intersection of menstruation and climate change, and access to menstrual products and reproductive health education.
VERDICT A vibrant collection of stories evoking joy, dread, loss, and celebration that will resonate with many.
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