Her Paraphernalia, the new book of creative non-fiction from noted Canadian poet Margaret Christakos, presents an intimate and original collection of midlife writings that seeks to make readers think in a very personalized way about family geneology, private sexuality and life changes, including those experiences that exist at the intersections of contemporary digital culture.
Through a sequence of ten études (consisting of entre-genre pieces, including prose and lyric poetry, experimental writing that integrates elements of social media posts, and other forms), Christakos's virtuosity with language and wordplay tantalizes, as she explores women's and girls' relationship to self-portraiture in the age of social media, and considers aspects of how we negotiate our public and private identities as women, mothers and daughters. Christakos takes as her starting point the reproductive touchstones of ages 15 and 50, and in this light, reflects upon the closeness and distances between herself, her own daughter, and her Greek and English immigrant grandmothers.
Written as a love song to her mother and daughter, Her Paraphernalia is at once a personal and yet wholly personable entrée into major themes that so many people of all ages and stages can relate to—self-identity, the beauty of the selfie, social media, partnership, miscarriage, menstruation, sexual lust, solo travel, depression, menopause, the death of a parent, the writing life, divorce, and women's transgenerational vitality, among others.
Interesting, unusually honest and open-minded, this collection will find a welcome audience among intelligent, self-actualizing women interested in contemporary culture and feminist questions; mothers of young women; women in midlife who may be experiencing mother-loss, menopause, empty nest, and divorce and those who self-direct their sexuality; readers interested in the overlap of artists who are mothers, and vice versa; and poets and readers interested in Christakos's oeuvre in general.