MARGARET SKINNIDER was born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1893. She trained as a maths teacher and moved to Glasgow. While there, she became involved with Cumann na mBan, a women’s organization founded in Dublin in 1914, and the women’s suffrage movement. She also learned to shoot at a rifle club. She made many trips to Ireland, sometimes smuggling detonators and wires for bombs under her clothes. During the rising Skinnider performed various roles, including scout, messenger, and sniper. She was ultimately shot while attempting to burn down some houses to cut off the British retreat. She was arrested, but due to her injuries was permitted to stay in hospital, from which she escaped and fled to Scotland. Later that year, she left for New York, where she wrote this book as well as touring and fundraising for the republican cause. She later returned to Ireland, where she spent some time in prison during the War of Independence. Her later life was spent teaching, and she never stopped fighting for the rights of women. She died in Glenageary in 1971.
Kirsty Lusk is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow. She received her mPhil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin and holds an ma (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Glasgow. She is currently researching Scottish-Irish connections in the late 19th and early 20th century from a literary perspective in order to explore the legacy of independence, equality and commemoration within a comparative Irish-Scottish framework.
Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Root
Chosen by Emma Straub as a Best New Celebrity Memoir
“A book of essays as raw and honest as anyone has ever produced.” — Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.