With names like The East Village Inky, Mend My Dress, Dear Stepdad, and I’m So Fucking Beautiful, zines created by girls and women over the past two decades make feminism’s third wave visible. These messy, photocopied do-it-yourself documents cover every imaginable subject matter and are loaded with handwriting, collage art, stickers, and glitter. Though they all reflect the personal style of the creators, they are also sites for constructing narratives, identities, and communities.
Girl Zines is the first book-length exploration of this exciting movement. Alison Piepmeier argues that these quirky, personalized booklets are tangible examples of the ways that girls and women ‘do’ feminism today. The idiosyncratic, surprising, and savvy arguments and issues showcased in the forty-six images reproduced in the book provide a complex window into feminism’s future, where zinesters persistently and stubbornly carve out new spaces for what it means to be a revolutionary and a girl. Girl Zines takes zines seriously, asking what they can tell us about the inner lives of girls and women over the last twenty years.
"Overall, [Piepmeiers] analysis about the political role that grrrl zines played is dead on. They were central to the evolution of my own feminist development in college in the early 1990s, speaking directly to my feelings of exclusion, disgust with pop culture, and surliness about the lingering sexism that second-wave feminism had failed to abolish." ~The American Prospect
"Piepmeiers careful study of the zine movement in girl culture is a powerful and convincing articulation of the ways womens and girls activism has developed, and the creative forms it has taken." ~Leslie Heywood,editor of The Womens Movement Today
"Piepmeier's work is an insightful and long-overdue engagement with the feminist work in zines, which played a pivotal role not only in Riot Grrrl but also in the development of the Third Wave in general." ~Virginia Corvid, Feminist Collections
"Feminist identities are the central concern of Piepmeier's Girl Zines, the first full-length academic study of young women's zine production to take third-wave politics as a serious subject of inquiry." ~Red Chidgey, Signs
"“In , author Alison Piepmeier defends the grrrl ethos with a scholarly take that points to the movement as a key part of feminist history; one that enabled women to gain more presence in a male-dominated world, albeit through flimsy, phantasmagorical photocopies passed around in the 1990s. Here Piepmeier brings forth a local study that, whether you agree with it or not, steadfastly lodges zine culture into the feminist archive." ~Broken Pencil
"Its thrilling to see zines taken seriously in Piepmeiers Girl Zines, which explores the world of handmade magazines created by women as a kind of social activism." ~Bookforum
"Before you could Tweet your every thought to the world, young women cut, pasted, Xeroxed, and traded their own handmade magazines through the mail. In fact, the gorgeously glossy mag youre holding in your hands right now started off as a zine. Girl Zines analyzes the beginning of the movement and its revolution grrrl style roots, as well as the way zinesters used the medium to explore race, sexuality, and identity." ~Bust Magazine
"“[Piepmeier is] one of third-wave feminism’s astute voices... As the wealth of examples she brings to her argument reveals, the author has done careful research on the significance of this medium and its use as a tool for making the voices of third-wave feminists heard. The study is important in that it affirms the continuity and relevance of feminism and does so in a way that delights as well as informs... Summing Up: Essential." ~CHOICE
"I’m grateful to Piepmeier for her attempt to rescue zines from inferiority among older generations of feminists." ~Bookforum