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Book Review-The Looking Glass Anthology: Through the Single Gal’s Lens

Segomotso Palesa Motsumi | Nov 24th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Segomotso Palesa Motsumi reviews The Looking Glass Anthology: Through the Single Gal’s Lens (Poetree Publications 2019)

Title: The Looking Glass Anthology V1: Through the Single Gal’s Lens

ISBN: 9780639821009

Publisher: Poetree Publications

Genre: Multiple (poetry, short fiction, visual art)

As a woman who has had two years to account for in her #dirtythirties, with no kids, no understanding of what marriage is and what it could encompass in my life, a huge record of failed relationships, a rape survivor and experienced incomparable loss, the rich literature in the 115 pages detailing women’s experiences and stories left me in a rage. A beautiful one! A rage that Tracy Ellis Ross speaks of in her famous Tedx talk, continuously watched on shitty days and increasingly difficult times when women are being butchered (emotionally, sexually, mentally and ‘othered’ in so many ways) for choosing to be themselves and being ‘single’ again. 

Marriage has not been SOMETHING I aspired to gain in my life except, recently a male I used to be intimate with and seemed to have cared for deeply, asked me to consider the idea. I did and then I did not. And we broke it off and that was that. Of course, if I was married, life would perhaps seem alot easier because hey, let’s face it, it’s hard for sistas outchea – The Looking Glass Anthology could also be added on the list of things to do for self-care purposes. I used it to confirm one thing – ‘tears dry on their own’. 

If I were to consider all the words and imagery (as I do with probing creative work) combed through in the poetry, short fiction, art and photography, my sense is that I could end up married to a woman. This anthology is overwhelmingly freeing to read, sent to gather all the single gals and tell ’em that they’re everything!

True to the uprising of the hashtag, #SheMultiplied, writers emerge to construct a lens that recognises the nuanced lives of womxn in all their glory.  If you are ready to be pointed in the direction of hope during a heavy breakup, Tejaswini Patil speaks of a galaxy made of her own, separate from anyone else’s. And when in fact, you yearn for credible intel of what it means to be a single gal in the now, Jade Trueman‘s ‘Dedication to my singlehood’ spills the beans and more. Titles such as ‘Pack Light’ by Pranishka Nayagar, Ongezwa Mabele‘s ‘The Women’ and Jeannie Wallace Mckeown‘s ‘Dating Website’ are clear in telling the gravitas tales of fearlessness and courage of a ‘grown’ woman in the 21st century. 

Editor and publisher, Flow Wellington (along with curator Jowhari Trahan in the United States) did good by us, in clutching womxn’s collective stories tightly, forging forward with rage, love, hope and joy; offering a place for serious interrogation of topics many women have encountered – rape, rejection, loss, heartbreak, abuse, manipulation, men and much, much more. 

This read is a serious win. 

***PALESA MOTSUMI (32) is the Founder of Sematsatsa Library. She is a writer, communications practitioner by training and has worked as Art consultant for various artists in the past. Her writing has mostly been featured in independent publications and  is currently working on her first non-fiction book, titled, Mantsho.

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