Poor Little Sick Girls
A STYLIST MUST-READ FOR 2022
Wellness is oppressive, self-love is a trap, hustling is a health risk, and it’s all the patriarchy’s fault. Poor Little Sick Girls is THE book for femmes who are online and want more from activism and life.
Ione Gamble never imagined that entering adulthood would mean hospital trips, medication choices, and throwing up in public. Diagnosed with an incurable illness two weeks after her nineteenth birthday, as the world became obsessed with Girlboss feminism, Ione came to grips with spending 20 hours a day in bed.
Watching identity politics become social media fodder, from the confines of her sickbed she began to pick apart our obsession with self-care, personal branding, productivity, and #LivingYourBestLife.
Using her experience with disability to cast a fresh gaze on the particularly peculiar cultural moment in which young women find themselves, Poor Little Sick Girls explores the pressures faced – as well as the power of existing as – a chronically ill, overweight, and unacceptable woman in our current era of empowerment.
Founder of Polyester zine and a host of The Polyester Podcast, Ione has been named one of fifteen coolest young Londoners by The Evening Standard, and a 2019 New Debutante in Tatler Magazine. If you love Trick Mirror, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Hood Feminism, you don’t want to miss this book.
Everyone loves Ione Gamble:
‘Punchy, political and unashamedly feminist, Polyester is the magazine for girls who know their own mind, and it’s run by one too.’ i-D
‘London’s feminist zine scene is thriving and in the middle of it all is Gamble.’ Evening Standard
Ione is fiercely unapologetic and a defining voice of our generation. It's especially powerful to see how her own experiences of living as a sick person intersect with her discussions on feminism. This will resonate with anyone who has ever been seen as "unacceptable" and decided to think critically about that. -- Cat White One of the sharpest, wittiest and most incisive thinkers of her generation. I always want to hear Ione's perspective on feminism, culture, and art - or just about anything -- Sirin Kale Complicated and honest, bold and tender - Poor Little Sick Girls interrogates the problems people like to pretend aren't there. Essential reading -- Annie Lord Part memoir, part manifesto, Ione Gamble's visionary book is an innovative and compelling collection of essays examining her mind, body and chronic illness and the wider implications of living in such an ableist and body-prescriptive society. A captivating journey that explodes into a cascade of new and necessary philosophies benefitting and enlightening us all -- Viv Albertine Poor Little Sick Girls is captivating, challenging and ultimately, hopeful. A must read for anyone who has ever felt left behind -- Laura Kay Ione's debut is a breath of fresh air. Both in the way she tackles the topic of feminism, and in the style its written. I want so many people to read this! -- Travis Alabanza Poor Little Sick Girls is the most sensational read of 2022! -- Gemma Collins A sizzling insight into how tropes about sick women and unacceptable bodies have been constructed throughout history through a cultural and personal lens. Ione writes with warmth, honesty and nuance, inviting the reader into a conversation that has, up until now, been afforded little space for exploration. -- Liv Little Where so much online is generic and conformist, Ione Gamble's aesthetic and vision is anything but. A style icon and writer who seamlessly blends the esoteric and the obscure with popular culture as well as a commitment to many forms of social justice, her forthcoming book Poor Little Sick Girls is bound to be a treat! -- Emma Dabiri A clear-sighted, critically needed skewering of hustle culture, wellness and modern feminism's blind spots, Ione pulls no punches in Poor Little Sick Girls. Everyone - and I mean everyone - should read this book. -- Yomi Adegoke I inhaled Poor Little Sick Girls in one sitting. This book is smart, addictive, wry and insightful. At a time when online discourse feels so muddled, Ione manages to pick through the weeds with characteristic humour and nuance. This is the anti-girlboss Bible and I love it. -- Daisy Jones A breath of fresh air for unruly women. The perfect antidote to the sanitised and overly packaged feminism we've been subjected to for the past few years. Ione speaks from the heart with a burning passion, razor-sharp wit and a seemingly endless pool of cultural references. Astute and honest - Ione Gamble is the moment. -- Honey Ross Illuminating and vulnerable... This is a book we can all take something from -- Abigail Bergstrom I loved this book so much - engaging, passionate collection of essays about chronic illness, feminism, social media, class and creative industries. it's hard to explain how it all fits together but it does, perfectly, and feels like it's narrated by the writer from her bed. if you're interested in any of those issues and/or why being a woman or marginalised person on the internet at the moment feels so dead-end and no longer fun, I would recommend! -- Hannah Ewens Incredible insight with a transgressive, witty, spirit -- Courtney Love A thrilling exploration of the relationships between bodies, abstract forces like language and stereotypes, and the material conditions that shape young adults' lives. Ione Gamble's incisive analysis of the last 15 years of social media, pop culture, and online feminism both illuminate the sources of present-day challenges and model a more liberatory way forward. By tracing the pieces of her self to facets of her environment, she demonstrates how much of a responsibility we have to one another -- and that, for all the cynical powers that make our world, we also have the power to remake ourselves. -- Tavi Gevinson
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