Rad Women, Deep Cover, and a Filipino Folktale

Three books from authors explore feminists, the CIA, and folk fantasy.


Rad Women Worldwide: Artist and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 104 pp. $15.99)

Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl, the same female writer-illustrator team behind New York Times best-seller Rad American Women A-Z, are telling more stories of heroines through dramatic tales and bold papercut illustrations. They chose 40 outstanding female role models from 31 countries, all nicely mapped out on the interior cover. Produced with young readers in mind, the book has a matte embossed cover with Brazil’s Marta kicking a soccer ball, Mexico’s Frida Khalo looking contemplative, and Pakistan’s Malalal Yousafzai raising a victory sign—indicative of the unusual and outstanding cast of characters profiled within.



Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover & Overwhelmed as a CIA Wife and Mother by Lillian McCloy (Bordertown Publishing, 2016, 240 pp., $13.95)

Alameda resident Lillian McCloy has written a memoir about her life as the wife of a deep cover CIA employee, Frank, a charming and gregarious gentleman who is gone—a lot. Clandestine meetings, repeated uprootings, absence upon absence, constant unpredictably, cover stories and fake companies: It’s the stuff of espionage novels. But Lillian, no fan of travel, can’t breathe a word of any of it as her husband’s job takes them to exotic locales. McCloy uses her humor, wit, and resolve deftly to keep a healthy perspective on just what she has gotten herself into.



The Hour of Day Dreams: A Reimagined Filipino Folktale by Renee Macalino Rutledge (Forest Avenue Press, 2017, 235 pp., $15.95)

 The intriguing soon-to-be released debut novel by Alameda’s Renee Macalino Rutledge begins with a prologue from an unnamed girl. She longs for her deceased mother, rumored to be demon, angel, witch, and saint, depending, though the melancholy girl recalls her mother tenderly. Manolo Lualhati and his bride, Tala, appear, and it is she and her sisters who wear wings, launching a Filipino folk-fantasy tale about abilities to fly heavenward. The sisters, Manolo’s in-laws, and a housekeeper keep the storyline moving as trust and identity issues seep in. The prose is lyrical and descriptive, perfect for the curiously unfolding story.       


Published online on Dec. 13, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.