The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation
By Karen Houppert
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 254 pp., $24
That time of the month. Your little friend. Ever notice how many euphemisms we have for menstruation? Karen Houppert has. Building on her pioneering 1995 Voice feature “Embarrassed to Death: The Hidden Dangers of the Tampon Industry,” Houppert’s book reveals the unscrupulous and deadly practices of the tampon/pad industry (dipping them in bleach, for instance). Houppert tours the nation’s menstrual hot spots— a Tambrands factory, a girls’ camp in the Catskills— and discovers that our deep reluctance to speak about the monthly bleed only makes it easier for Tampax to poison us.
Stars Don’t Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth
Edited by Karen Kelly and Evelyn McDonnell
NYU Press, 287 pp.,$19.95 paper
Dia Center for the Arts’s 1997 rock and roll conference was packed with current and former Voice folk. Ellen Willis, Katherine Dieckmann, Ann Powers, James Hannaham, Chuck Eddy, and others presented papers. Edited by Dia’s Karen Kelly and former Voice music editor Evelyn McDonnell (and with an introduction by Greil Marcus), this book collects their essays along with numerous others on everything from velvet Elvis paintings to the hidden meanings in goth culture.
A Pocket Guide to Environmental Bad Guys (and a Few Ideas on How To Stop Them)
By James Ridgeway and Jeffrey St. Clair
Thunder’s Mouth Press, 178 pp., $10.95
This pocket-size volume is a handbook for the millennial
environmental activist. Easy to read and fact-packed, it takes readers on a tour of the American “pollution lobby.” From the oil fields of Nigeria to the floor of the U.S. Senate, it maps the mechanisms of contemporary environmental plunder.