The first text I will reflect on is Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir My Beloved World (2013).
The memoir of Justice Sonia Sotomayor is one of the first texts of women’s life writings I can remember reading. A dear friend passed her copy on to me, saying she doesn’t usually read memoirs but was truly impressed by this one. Living in the US for the first time during an exchange year in college, I felt especially interested to read about an elite woman in politics. I hadn’t studied feminist theory at this point and was only just in the process of changes majors from Political Science (which still remained my minor) to Comparative Literature. I’ve always loved reading but at that point I hadn’t yet conceptualized of reading as my academic method, or as my site of engagement for questions of social justice. Sonia’s memoir gave me an appreciation of what intersectionality means and how it plays out before I learned the term. Reading about her girlhood and her rise through the ranks as a Latina, a woman, and a person who has diabetes impressed me. I didn’t know it at the time, but reading about the specificity of Sonia’s life and success, and understanding our culture and women’s role in it through the stories of a diversity of women, is what I ended up doing as a full-time project in academia and at Indulgence. Continue reading this blog throughout September to learn more about why I think women’s memoirs and essays are important for making literary studies do work for social justice.