Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu
Recently I received a box of artisan chocolates. This was not your ordinary drug store variety. Each bonbon was a unique creation with a complex blend of flavors. Think burnt caramel, tarragon grapefruit, Piedmont hazelnut.
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World is the literary equivalent to a box of artisan chocolates. The gorgeous case holds a selection of biography bonbons.
Like an assortment of confections, the micro-biographies are presented without regard to chronology, geography or sphere of influence. Entries showcase distinctive details of each woman's life, morsels to be savored.
So many stories to sample. Where to begin?
Do you want something sweet? Try Giorgina Reed, Lighthouse Keeper; Josephina Van Gorkum, Obstinate Lover; or Temple Grandin, Animal Whisperer.
Are you looking for something complex? Learn about Leymah Gbowee, Social Worker; Christine Jorgenson, Reluctant Celebrity; or Mae Jemison, Astronaut.
Read the book from cover to cover or dip in and sample the variety of stories as you fancy. Either way, it's savory and satisfying reading.
Pénélope Bagieu has created a fascinating and highly entertaining compendium of female trailblazers. Each vignette consists of an introductory portrait with basic biographical information.
Most pages follow a six or nine panel-per-page format. Black and white line drawings are punctuated with bright spots of color. A chapter's color pallet is unique to the life and reflects the personality of the highlighted woman. Each entry concludes with a gorgeous two-page full color illustration, celebrating the life of this woman and her contributions to her world.
Emphasis is placed on the circumstances which compelled each to take a stand. Bagieu's adds her own observations and witty asides to the narrative. Sometimes her tone is slightly sardonic. This is not an exhaustive in-depth historical treatise. The author is here to tell the story of rebels. In keeping of her purpose, she at times merely alludes to and occasionally omits historical details.
Note: One hopes that these individuals will receive expanded treatment in a follow-up volume. Bagieu also provides her own author's biography with a layout similar to that of the twenty-nine featured women.
Look for tales of firebrands, revolutionaries, visionaries, and nonconformists. This scrumptious collection of vignettes will entertain, provoke thought, and provide a starting place for further study and research. Enticing reading.
Note the vivid color and lush design featured in this two-page spread highlighting the life and accomplishments of Annette Kellerman. She was a remarkable pioneer who revolutionized women's swimwear. Kellerman designed functional swimming suits for women. At the time her creations were considered scandalous. She also built a career as an actress, appearing in about twenty films. Later she became an author and advocate for health and fitness.