Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider. Crossing Press, 1984.
Hodson, Chelsea. Tonight I’m Someone Else. Henry and Holt Company, 2018.
Reading this vulnerable collection of non-linear confessional essays, I wished to turn away from some pages. Hodson successfully pushes the boundaries of embracing unhealthy, unattractive feelings and how they relate to creativity and the development of character, intellect, and ability. Her poetic impish dive into these emotional scapes draws easily-followed connection points between human experiences. Her voice is cynical, romantic, sober, and intoxicated. Many essays involve issues of love and idolatry. She allows herself to revel in immature and self-sabotaging thoughts and somehow glean a confidence smoothed by alcohol and cinematic sexuality. Her work speaks to the hidden facets of personality, though she could benefit from distillation. Constantly referring to a desire to write something pure and unique, Hodson instead offers cliches, however openly purposeful. I admire her dealing intimately with femininity and the body’s relationship to philosophy and theory. Hodson’s style fixates on the visceral and how her female form integrates with society and capital. In a separate interview, Hodson provides advice to the creative writer to begin with the body. This is not just a simple writing tip as she repeatedly reveals moments when her body takes the reigns in her life: times in which the body becomes the greatest asset and times in which the body becomes the tallest hurdle.