Wild Shrew Literary Review

Wild Shrew Literary Review

Wild Shrew Literary Review (WSLR) publishes online book reviews. While WSLR is book-focused, we are open to accepting reviews of other media such as films, art exhibits, and author Q&As. Reviews should be about 400-700 words if on a single book, 1,300-1,500 words if on 3-5 books, 1,200-1,500 words if it’s a book excerpt, and up to 2,000 words if it’s an author Q&A. Please contact the WSLR editor, Chloe Berger (chloe at sinisterwisdom dot org) if you would like to write a review or if you have any questions.
You can view this book review template to get a sense of what you should include in the review.
Please refer to the Sinister Snapshot Style Manual, as the WSLR style is similar.

Welcome to Wild Shrew Literary Review!

Reviews by Genre:

Latest Reviews:

Grace Gaynor Reviews Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
“In her stunning collection, Jasmine Mans utilizes poetry to reveal the intricacies, triumphs, and struggles associated with Black girlhood in a way that Black girls and women deserve.”

Chloe Weber Reviews Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by Carmen Maria Machado
“What modern-day readers should take away from Carmilla is that their lesbianism is not a supernatural curse and that they may live freely and openly rather than live in fear of their identity.”

Judith Barrington Reviews A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces that Shaped Queer Women’s Culture by June Thomas
“The spaces so clearly described in Thomas’s book were places of refuge, places of friendship, and places in which to foment revolution.”

Karen Poppy Reviews The Glass Studio by Sandra Yannone
“Within Yannone’s collection, we find family and patriarchal myths pieced together. The myths, like the stained glass, fused and shimmering, are dangerous and alluring in their creation and perpetuation, but an art form of liberation when we act in their dismantling.”

Darla Tejada Reviews Unsuitable: A History of Lesbian Fashion by Eleanor Medhurst
Unsuitable weaves a powerful story of a lesbian fashion past that leaves readers hopeful for the future.”

Allison Quinlan Reviews Dragstripping: Poems by Jan Beatty
Dragstripping is a testament to poetry’s power to excavate the depths of human experience. Beatty’s work invites readers to witness the complexities of identity and resilience after trauma.”

Laura Gibbs Reviews The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems (1973-2023) by Beatrix Gates
“The collection comes to feel like a museum of a life–its artifacts are displayed with precise curatorial care so as to best reflect the visionary wisdom that blazes through even Gates’s shortest poems.”

Dot Persica Reviews Cities of Women by Kathleen B. Jones
“The incessant search for the real truth behind the accepted, dogmatic ‘truth’ defines this book and the queer experience: what are we if not love’s archaeologists, tirelessly digging for proof that we aren’t the first or the only people to have loved the way we love?”

Catherine Horowitz Reviews Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrash
“Woven within the twists and turns of the book are the complex discussions of queer identity, sex, love, family, and other more serious topics. Perhaps, most importantly, it is a moving criticism of the American justice system.”

Henri Bensussen Reviews When Women Kill: Four Crimes Retold by Alia Trabucco Zerán, translated by Sophie Hughes
When Women Kill was as entertaining and informative as reading a literary, engaging mystery. Like a good mystery, each woman’s story ends with a surprise.”

Roberta Arnold Reviews Blessed Water: A Sister Holiday Mystery by Margot Douaihy
“Douaihy unfurls sentences with life lessons through language that ranges from the sensate to the sublime.”

Julia M. Allen Reviews Communists in Closets: Queering the History 1930s-1990s by Bettina Aptheker
“In an elegant, seamless fusion of memoir, oral history, and archival research, Bettina Aptheker offers us and future generations the gift of our history.”

Rose Norman Reviews Águila: The Vision, Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Two-Spirit Shaman in the Ozark Mountains by María Cristina Moroles and Lauri Umansky
Águila is a story of resilience and healing on women’s land. We have few books about women’s land communities. This is an important one.”

Courtney Heidorn Reviews Women! In! Peril! by Jessie Ren Marshall
“There is something for every reader in Jessie Ren Marshall’s short stories: robot girlfriends, sapphic ballerinas, lesbian co-parents, and women flying through space.”

Emily L. Quint Freeman Reviews Jewcy: Jewish Queer Lesbian Feminisms for the Twenty-First Century Edited by Marla Brettschneider
“The umbrella of self can be difficult to navigate. This book offers ideas and stories of Jewish lesbians seeking acceptance rather than marginalization.”

Sarah Horner Interviews Dianna Hunter
“As a young lesbian, I took myself to the land to heal and grow, and at seventy-four, I still look to nature for these gifts. My duty as a writer is to give back, to contribute to the restoration of the earth and to help foster a just and loving human community.”

Courtney Heidorn Reviews Age Brings Them Home to Me by windflower
“windflower uses the perspective from Mother Earth to see everything life offers: family, love, self-actualization, and justice.”

Judith Katz Reviews Grace Period by Elisabeth Nonas
“Nonas has created an affable first-person narrator with Hannah. She spends the bulk of her grieving (and this novel) trying to figure out who she is and what she is meant to do now that Grace is gone.”

Pelaya Arapakis Reviews The Jolt: Twenty-One Love Poems in Homage to Adrienne Rich by Julie Weiss
The Jolt is a dazzling poetic collection that revels in the majesty and resilience of lesbian love.”

Sisel Gelman Reviews unalone by Jessica Jacobs
“This poetry collection insists there is something powerful and elevated in the spiritual realm, and through study and reflection, we might attain a fraction of it. This fraction will guide and heal us.”

Kali Herbst Minino and Darla Tejada Review My Withered Legs and Other Essays by Sandra Gail Lambert
“Artfully covering topics of independence, the writing process, aging, and familial and romantic relationships, the collection of essays is about much more than the title suggests—her legs.”

Sarah Parsons Reviews Love the World or Get Killed Trying by Alvina Chamberland
“Readers who enjoy journeys of self-discovery and adventure will find themselves drawn into the wonderful world of Alvina Chamberland.”

Catherine Horowitz Reviews City of Laughter by Temim Fruchter
“It is hard to truly pull off a sweeping epic like this one, but Fruchter’s debut novel is continuously riveting, insightful, and poignant, leaving readers all at once satisfied and curious about what the future holds.”

Henri Bensussen Reviews The Women of NOW: How Feminists Built an Organization that Transformed America by Katherine Turk
“Read this fascinating book to learn about the controversies that NOW became known for, how they were settled, the history of the women who directed it, and how they did it.”

Ella Stern Interviews Penny Mickelbury
“We not only want to hear from you, we need to hear from you. Most of us don’t have children and grandchildren. Unless we teach, we have no idea what you all are thinking, or what you’re feeling, or what you’re reading, or what you think about what we write.”

Mikayla Hamilton Interviews Ben Negin (Benadryl) of Boone Barbies
“I am driven to perform because it serves as an outlet for creativity, expression, activism, and emotions.”

Courtney Heidorn Reviews Breath Ablaze: Twenty-One Love Poems in Homage to Adrienne Rich, Volume II by Julie Weiss
Breath Ablaze is imbued with subtle storytelling, powdered sugar longing, and a thread of timelessness that delivers Weiss’s poems straight to the heart of any sapphic reader, young or old.”

Henri Bensussen Reviews Poor Things Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
“In this film, Emma Stone becomes Bella, portraying so naturally her behavior and emotions that I felt like I was there, pondering the oddness of this child, watching her grow into a young woman.”

Judith Katz Reviews Archangels of Funk by Andrea Hairston
Archangels of Funk is the most hopeful book about a coming dystopia this reader could ever imagine.”

Courtney Heidorn Reviews American Queers: Poems by Jesse Marvo Diamond
“Jesse Mavro Diamond creates a guiltless queer kingdom of historiography and reclamation.”

Emily L. Quint Freeman Reviews “Nelly & Nadine” Directed by Magnus Gertten
“It was one of those films that stays with you, makes you think, makes you remember, makes you well up with tears.”

Courtney Heidorn Reviews The Weight of Survival by Tina Biello
“The collection is primarily, and poignantly, a love letter to Biello's ancestry, her mother country, and her childhood home of British Columbia.”

Yeva Johnson Reviews Floating Bones by Rae Diamond
“Rae Diamond’s Floating Bones is a magnificent multisensory experience fitting for this hybrid book of poetry, art, and essays. I invite any reader to enjoy it as I did from the first touch to the last page.”

Yeva Johnson Reviews The Price of a Small Hot Fire by E.F. Schraeder
“It was an act of bravery for me to dive into Schraeder’s poetic world without rules, where no topic was off limits. Luckily, my bravery was handsomely rewarded.”

Yeva Johnson Reviews Next Time You Come Home by Lisa Dordal and Milly Dordal
Next Time You Come Home is a beautiful collection that transforms a mother and daughter’s correspondence into a lyrical tour de force on grief and connection while spotlighting big and tender moments of the last part of the twentieth century.”


"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven