Reading the Map of Our Bodies
The preface frames the book as sharing vital tools from the feminist bookstore movement with contemporary queer antiracist feminist activists and activist theorists working toward feminist accountability. Bookwomen created and developed a vital practice of feminist accountability, including lesbian antiracism and the feminist shelf. The author describes her experience being asked whether she would consider starting a feminist bookstore as a way to identify recent misrememberings of feminist bookstores as individual (white) women’s businesses rather than their earlier lives as collectively imagined movement sites working to create (not always successfully but always with important historical resonance) lesbian antiracist feminist practice. The preface enacts a reader’s potential process of regaining a feminist reading practice to recognize this history by tracing the author’s shift in understanding her archival materials from the start to the end of her research; feminist bookwomen changed reading and relational practices, and so will reading their histories.