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Brazen : rebel ladies who rocked the world
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Young adult
Resistance movements
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Trade Reviews
New York Times Review
STEALING THE SHOW: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television, by Joy Press. (Atria, $26.) A former TV critic for The Village Voice reports on some remarkable women who have managed to make shows on their own terms, including Diane English ("Murphy Brown"), Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal") and Jill Soloway ("Transparent"). A LAB OF ONE'S OWN: Science and Suffrage in the First World War, by Patricia Fara. (Oxford University, $24.95.) Fara offers a vibrant series of profiles of women for whom the war presented an opportunity to take on roles in the scientific and medical realm, previously denied them. BACK TALK: Stories, by Danielle Lazarin. (Penguin, paper, $16.) Short fiction that probes the lives of American women whose privilege doesn't protect them from society's burdens. Beautifully crafted, these stories aren't without viscera; sublimated rage fills the crevices between them. BRAZEN: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Penelope Bagieu. (First Second, $24.95.) A celebrated French graphic novelist, Bagieu brings together colorful, whimsical portraits of women - some known and some obscure - who broke the mold and lived life as they wanted. JUST THE FUNNY PARTS:... And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys' Club, by Nell Scovell. (Dey St./Morrow, $27.99.) In this memoir of life as a TV comedy writer, Scovell lays out the years of toxic misogyny she endured on various sets, and catalogs the men who were antagonists instead of comrades. It's not a short list. MRS., by Caitlin Macy. (Little, Brown, $27.) A bristling, funny, savage novel that homes in on the conflicted lives of three ultrawealthy Manhattan wives and the corrupt man on whom they take vengeance. Along the way it focuses boldly on the depths of women's experiences and their struggles with male power. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID: What Men Need to Know (And Women Need to Tell Them), by Joanne Lipman. (Morrow, $28.99.) Lipman, a seasoned journalist and newspaper editor, investigates the plight of working women with sympathy and reams of data, uncovering innumerable institutionalized prejudices. I WROTE THIS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU: Essays, by Tim Kreider. (Simon & Schuster, $26.) In Kreider's pleasurable and well-wrought essays, an affable hero gamely bumbles through adventures rich with moments of fleeting profundity and moral reckoning. THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America, by Morgan Jerkins. (Harper Perennial, paper, $15.99.) These challenging essays show how a sexist, racist culture prescribes black identity. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web:
Library Journal Review
First appearing as a comic strip in the French daily Le Monde, this volume features 29 women whose histories span time, geography, and circumstance. Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, painter Tove Jansson, and journalist Nellie Bly are some of the more famous names; rapper Sonita Alizadeh; Nzinga, Queen of Ndongo and Matamba; and gynecologist Agnodice are less well known. In densely packed, nine-panel pages, Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse; California Dreamin') recounts the cultural and personal factors that shaped our heroines, the key moment when they decided to forge their own paths, and the effects of their decisions. Both art and text are clever, smart, and distilled for maximum impact. The women are not idealized, nor are their flaws ignored. Instead, they are treated with wit and empathy. Featuring vivid colors, lyrical compositions, and surprising power, the two-page illustrations of each subject are beautiful portraits that could stand on their own. Verdict At first glance, Brazen feels like yet another collection of biographies of extraordinary and underappreciated women, but Bagieu has created something remarkable. A fresh and joyous look at women's history that is sure to delight even the most jaded readers.-E.W. Genovese, Andrew Bayne Memorial Lib., Pittsburgh © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Story collections about famous women often include figures like Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale. Bagieu (California Dreamin') goes further afield, creating short graphic biographies about inspiring women from many unexpected times and places, such as Las Mariposas, sisters from the Dominican Republic who worked to overthrow dictator Rafael Trujillo; Katia Krafft, who fought to be recognized as a volcanologist; and Leyah Gbowee, an organizer whose part in ending the civil war in Liberia won her the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. ("How about a drink?" Liberian negotiators say to Gbowee. "I don't drink with murderers," she snaps.) Bagieu's writing is sly and understated, and her panels combine impish comedy with unexpected moments of sensuousness. The women in these biographies pursue political freedom, love, artistic fulfillment, and-sometimes-the joy of their own bodies: Peggy Guggenheim mourns the death of her lover John Holms "on the shoulders of (lots of) new lovers." Any one of these stories would make a rousing picture book biography; 29 of them in one volume produces a work whose energy and wit will spur readers to get going and change the world. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-French cartoonist Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse; California Dreamin') offers 29 compelling biographies of renowned female artists, scientists, athletes, explorers, activists, and warriors. While much-profiled women such as reporter Nellie Bly and astronaut Mae Jemison appear here, so do less recognized names, including pioneering gynecologist Agnodice (active around 350 BCE in Athens); Christine Jorgensen, one of the first people from the United States to receive gender reassignment surgery; Liberian social worker Leymah Gbowee; and Syrian aristocrat-turned-activist Naziq al-Abid. Each entry covers the subject's life from birth to period of activity and, where applicable, death, across about six pages of delicately drawn panels with colorful highlights and washes. The work features humorously anachronistic props, such as modern books, as well as accurate depictions (smoking, drinking). The minimal dialogue is largely invented; declarations and thoughts are couched in distinctly 21st-century argot. The women range in age from girls to older adults at their high points of recognition and are geographically diverse. There are no source notes, but there's enough information, including dates, national origin, and married as well as birth surnames, to spur curious teens to seek out more details. VERDICT A strikingly original collective biography for casual readers, students, and those looking for inspiration in their own lives.-Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Step aside Susan B. Anthony and Joan of Arc! French graphic novelist Bagieu's (California Dreamin', 2017) latest turns standard feminist anthology fare on its head, introducing 29 lesser-known ladies of various backgrounds, time periods, skin colors, and sexualities. Kicking off with Clémentine Delait, a beloved bearded lady in early twentieth-century France, and concluding with Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, Bagieu's vivacious collection spotlights rebels such as Las Mariposas (revolutionary sisters!), Sonita Alizadeh (Afghan rapper!), and Nobel Peace Prize-winning Leymah Gbowee (Liberian activist!) along the way. Bagieu's writing is clever and concise, and panels brim with sly subtleties; Bagieu delivers laugh-out-loud one-liners in bitsy speech bubbles, and summons tragedy with no words at all, and her fine-lined figures are by turns playfully expressive, fierce, and reverent. Additionally, each profile employs its own distinct color palette; Bagieu's segment on Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, for example, heavily features the bold blues, greens, yellows, and reds of Jansson's signature Moomin comics. Bagieu's dedication to Syrian activist Naziq al-Abid folds in the colors of the country's flag. This dynamic paean to women's flair for fearless resistance will have readers happily sifting through history and tackling the future with renewed verve. Rock on, ladies.--Shemroske, Briana Copyright 2018 Booklist
Horn Book Review
French artist Bagieu's brief vignettes of sequential comics art expose readers to brazen women of all fields, times, and places, both famous and little-known. Each entry gives just enough information about each heroine to know who she was and why she was important; many readers will dig deeper from here. Occasional humor makes even the most tragic stories approachable. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Review
This French graphic novel offers a satisfying collection of minibiographies about bold womensome contemporary, others from centuries agowho overcame fearsome odds to achieve a variety of goals, becoming the first black woman in space, a rapper in Afghanistan, a pioneering volcanologist, and more.The lives of 33 women of varying geographical, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds are highlighted in about 10 pages each of colorful, expressive, and often humorous cartoon panelsenough to serve as a catalyst for learning more. Some names are relatively recognizable, such as Temple Grandin and Nellie Bly, while others may be less so, such as Las Mariposas, Dominican sisters who became revolutionaries and human rights activists; Naziq al-Abid, a Syrian humanitarian and feminist; Agnodice, a fourth-century B.C.E. Athenian who disguised herself as a man in order to practice gynecology; and Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian social worker who escaped an abusive marriage and assisted other female survivors of violence. Bagieu delivers a pice de rsistance that succinctly summarizes the obstacles and victories of these daring women.Insightful and clever, at times infuriating and disheartening, this serves as a reminder that the hardships women face today have been sharedand overcomeby many others. (Graphic collective biography. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

2019 Eisner Award Winner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen : their indomitable spirit.

With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

This title has Common Core connections.

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