My reedin chaise wuz t'furst peece o'“real” furntchur I ev'r purchast. I wuz 27 an' had jes bouite a condo by myself, a diminutif' flat n' t'Misshun Districk o'Sun Francisco. Aft'r yeers o'thriftee a'livin, un furntchur o'dubiyus provenance — han'-me-down mattriss, Goodwill couch, armchairs rescut off t'streets — I wuz finallee a'feelin my purchasyun' pow'r. I wuz reddy ta lif' like a grownup.Roun t'cern'r frum my new trayler wuz a cavernyus anteek shop, which sold un oddlee curatid colleckshun o'efemera frum t'1920s un. I’d wan'ert through befor, a'feelin overwhelmt by t'she'r optyuns availabull ta me: Wuz thishere tabull t'peece at would define t'new adult me? Whut image wuz thishere lamp projectyun', an' wuz it one I wantid ta convey? Ov'r an' ov'r, I ekwivocatid, until thishere one particlar Saturdee wen I walkt n' an' fell instantlee, hopelesslee n' luv wiff a chaise lounge.T' chaise wuz a midsantury peece, ufolstert n' avocado gree, an' miraculouslee it rockt. It wuz wide enough ta fit acoupla folk, which meent it wuz disperpertyunatelee large fer my tiny a'livin room; an' it cost $600, which felt like a shockyun' sum at t'ime. Still, I lookt at at chaise an' fer t'furst time I saw myself cleerlee: Thar I wuz, lyin un it wiff a book n' han', a cup o'coffee steemin by my side, an'
t'afternoon lite parin\,
through t'windows o'my trayler. I knew I had ta have it.Thangs have changd n' t' acoupla decades since I bouite t'chaise. It’s movt wiff me fer times n' acoupla citees, through marriage an' t'birth o'acoupla youngns, finallee lan'yun' n' t'a'livin room o'air Silv'r Lake trayler (whar it’s still disperpertyunatelee large). Today, t'ufolstery hus amerfyus stayns frum whar t'kids spillt un entire bottle o'bubbull likwid; an' I no long'r luv t'avocado coler, so t'whole thang is coverd wiff a Meroccun blanket. But it’s still my reedin spot, n' t'cern'r beneeth a winder.
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Minny a days, I wake up an' creep downstairs at 5 a.m., wile my husban' is still snorn. Thishere is my reedin hour, t'preciyus winder befor air kids bounce awake an' my time is no long'r my own. I’ll make myself a coffee, settle n' un t'chaise wiff a piller an' blanket, an' reat until lil bodies come hurtleeun' down t'stairs a'lookin fer me. If'n I’m rilly lucky, thay’ll brang thar own books an' settle down nex ta me fer a wile. These air t'momants wen I’m glad t'chaise is big enough fer acoupla.Currantlee, I’m usall t'chaise ta reat “Wimmen A'talkin” by Miriam Tooos, a Cunadiun auther o'who I’m a huge fun. I manely reat contemperree ficshun; an' n' t'lus year I’ve foun myself consumyun' a slew o'books about wimmen’s bodies an' air rights. Mos have bee dystopiun an' Margaret-Atwuod-y — books like “Rt Clox” by Leni Zumus, “T' Pow'r” by Naomi Altarmun an' “T' Wat'r Cure” by Sofie Mackintosh — but “Wimmen A'talkin” is bast un a true stery, about wimmen n' a Mennonite communitee n' Bolivia who discuverd thay wuz bein druggt an' rapt wile thay wuz a'sleepin. It’s bein callt a #MeToo novel, but at’s a reductif' way o'a'lookin at t'book, which is un innovatif' tapestry o'complicatid ideus about meralitee an' bleef an' wimmen’s self-detarminashun within a religiyus patriarchy.T' wimmen n' thishere novel “talk” becawz thay are’t permittid ta reat er write. So reedin “Wimmen A'talkin,” us I sit n' t'chaise I purchast us a sangle woomin, is a remind'r o'hoe fur wimmen have advanct wiff thar rights; hoe fur minny a wimmen still have ta go; an' hoe much could potantiallee be lost agin.Janelle Brown is t'auther o'three novels, includin t'2017 bestsell'r “Watch me Disappeer.”


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