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Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life by Erin Wunker


Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life by Erin Wunker


Erin Wunker is a feminist killjoy, and she thinks you should be one, too.

Following in the tradition of Sara Ahmed (the originator of the concept “feminist killjoy”), Wunker brings memoir, theory, literary criticism, pop culture, and feminist thinking together in this collection of essays that take up Ahmed’s project as a multifaceted lens through which to read the world from a feminist point of view. Neither totemic nor complete, the non-fiction essays that make up Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life attempt to think publicly about why we need feminism, and especially why we need the figure of the feminist killjoy, now.

From the complicated practices of being a mother and a feminist, to building friendship amongst women as a community-building and -sustaining project, to writing that addresses rape culture from the Canadian context and beyond, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life invites the reader into a conversation about gender, feminism, and living in our inequitable world.

Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts and cofounder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist academic blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production with a special focus on cultural production by women. She lives in Halifax with her partner, their daughter, and Marley the dog.

  • Winner of the Atlantic Book Awards 2017 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Winner of the East Coast Literary Awards 2017
  • Winner of the 2017 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

Selected praise for Notes from a Feminist Killjoy:

“This book offers a powerful plea for a feminism that is willing to kill any joy that derives from inequality and injustice. All feminist killjoys will want this book on their shelves!” —Sara Ahmed, former director of the Centre for Feminist Research and professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths (London), and author of Living a Feminist Life

“This book is an act of radical friendship: let Wunker be the savvy BFF who has your back as you let your inner killjoy roar.” —Sonnet L’Abbe, Canadian poet and critic

“Wunker renders the label “feminist killjoy” one that readers can be proud to wear.” —Becky Robertson, Quill and Quire (starred review)

“Over 209 pages of linked notes, the volume wends like a passionate discussion over a long afternoon with your very-smart-and-ready-to-disrupt best friend.” —Krista Foss, Hamilton Review of Books 

“Erin Wunker’s first book is a useful navigational tool even for those steeped in the precepts of women’s studies. Her Notes represents a smorgasbord of reflection.” —Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star and Metro Canada

“What is a Feminist Killjoy? In Erin Wunker’s introduction to her new book, she attributes the term to Sara Ahmed and calls the FK “that irreverent figure who lights a match and joyfully flicks it into the dry hull of patriarchal culture.” With everything that’s happened, you bet your bottom dollar we’re on board.” —All Lit Up

 “Wunker uses pop culture, feminist theory, and anecdotal experience to articulate the feminist killjoy’s invaluable role. She also pays particular attention to acknowledging and checking privilege and focusing on the ways that the issues she explores are intersectional and impacted by lived experience. ” —Kate Hargreaves, All Lit Up 

“We live in dangerous times, where hard-won human rights and freedoms are in danger of being lost. Wunker’s book is a reminder that those on the frontlines of culture and language are doing brave and necessary work.” —Kerry Lee Powell for Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2016’s Best Books of the Year, Recommended by Canadian Writers

“I want to gift the book to everyone I know and share the experience of reading it with them. In a time when I needed one, I read this book and found a friend.” —Lee Skallerup Bessette, The Chronicle of Higher Education 

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