Saturday, January 31, 2009

BIDPL Review of Zines

I picked up this zine at The Fest in Gainesville this past October.
(I also picked up what they call "the Fest AIDS," but that went away.)

Nuns I've Known by Prunella Vulgaris is a refreshing take on the Catholic school-survivor memoir. Vulgaris wrote a few paragraphs each on eight nuns who taught her in school. She remembers them vividly in all their banality and horror. She remembers some of them affectionately, even if it is sometimes a rueful affection. Others, like Sister Clement, who wore spike heels, she just can't seem to get out of her mind.

A feminist and a punk, there's a lot she remembers with anger.

Like Sister Rita: "Her thing was abortion. She was obsessed. Every morning for a whole year I had to look at a poster-sized picture of a fetus after it was aborted, or on its way to getting aborted, or something. Really, abortion appeared to represent EVERYTHING to her, everything to do with morality, the Catholic faith, rightness, sexuality, femininity. The topic was a receptacle for all her rage, all of her frustration and apparent problem with sex, all of her self-righteous nonsense. This is what seems to happen to people who become preoccupied with this topic from the 'pro-life' perspective, and there is something mind-blowingly unwholesome about it. They find a way to work it into EVERY conversation. Why is this what is on your mind all the time? Doesn't that seem wrong just on a spiritual and, like, human level? Their interest wasn't political--it was personal, detailed, gory, repulsive."

Maybe you can get a copy at

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