“Every morning I wake up feeling like I was run over by a truck,” San Francisco-based author, Amy Berkowitz, writes early on in her first book Tender Points, now available from Timeless, Infinite Light
Named after a diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, a disease that affects mostly women (trauma is a common associated precursor of the diagnosis), Tender Points puts words to the silent and brings images to the invisible as Berkowitz delves into both her own physical suffering as a result of the disease, and the emotional pain of trauma, rape culture, and patriarchy.
Demanding to be heard, Berkowitz appropriates a cis-masculine voice in her writing as an act of resistance and visibility. “I’m aware of a certain home-team advantage,” she writes, “and I will not dare write this in anything that can’t pass for straight masculine prose. It’s not that this isn’t écriture féminine, but it’s écriture féminine en homme.” The pain is real, and its acknowledgement in the face of patriarchal silencing is a political act.
Tender Points is, according to Maggie Nelson, a “firm, high-stakes speech speaking truth to power, radiating beauty and fierceness from its inspiring insistence and persistence.”
Amy Berkowitz is the founder of the chapbook press Mondo Bummer Books. Her writing has appeared in 580 Split, Dusie, Where Eagles Dare, and on the VIDA blog. She was the 2014 writer-in-residence at Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery in San Francisco.