Photo of Derrick Jensen
Once again, environmentalist author Derrick Jensen is partnering with radical cartoonist Stephanie McMillan to stun audiences, but this time it is with their new novel The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad. Described as “darkly comic and deadly” serious, it is “a story that never gets told in rape culture: women fighting back.” The creative duo spoke to an audience on Thursday night about the new book at the Blue Stockings Bookstore in Manhattan.
Jensen explains the premis of the book as the story of sex women who meet at a knitting circle “to talk, eat cake, and make fabulous sweaters. Until the night they realize that they’ve all survived rape- and that not one of their assailants has suffered a single consequence. Enough is enough. The Knitting Circle declares open season on rapists, with no licenses and no bag limits. With needles as their weapons, the revolution begins.”
This novel comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with Jensen’s work, which connects our culture of greed and environmental destruction with deeply embedded power structures that both promote and depend upon the abuse and violation of women. His activism focuses on the root of violence, highlighting the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which we collectively benefit or suffer under its reign.
Ecolutionists may be more familiar with previous collaborations, like As the World Burns and Mischief in the Forest, for which McMillan provided illustrations. These books belong on the shelves of any devoted environmentalist and animal activist.
Jensen is the author of A Language Older Than Words, Walking on Water, and Endgame. His writing can also be found in Orion and The Sun Magazine. You can find more of McMillan’s writings, cartoons, and illustrations here. Her daily comic strip, Minimum Security can be found here. To learn more about her award-winning weekly cartoon about ecocide – Code Green – visit this link.
As activists it is easy to get tunnel-vision, focusing on a single issue. But Jensen and McMillan’s work demonstrates how important it is to step back and see the larger picture, to search for the intersection of systems of oppression so that we may form new and strengthen existing alliances. So that we may fortify the foundation of our struggle for justice.
See our video interview with Derrick Jensen here.