Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life

by Erin Wunker
  • critically-acclaimed
  • feminism
  • from-the-atlantic-canada
  • memoir
  • narrative

Following in the tradition of Sara Ahmed (the originator of the concept “feminist killjoy”), Wunker brings memoir, theory, literary criticism, pop culture, and feminist thinking together in this collection of essays that take up Ahmed’s project as a multi-faceted lens through which to read the world from a feminist point of view. Neither totemic nor complete, the nonfiction essays that make up Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life attempt to think publicly about why we need feminism, and especially why we need the figure of the feminist killjoy, now.

From the complicated practices of being a mother and a feminist, to building friendship amongst women as a community-building and -sustaining project, to writing that addresses rape culture from the Canadian context and beyond, Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life invites the reader into a conversation about gender, feminism, and living in our inequitable world.


Erin Wunker, author

Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts ( and co-founder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist academic blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production with a special focus on cultural production by women. She lives in Halifax with her partner, their daughter, and Marley the dog. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is Wunker’s first book.


  • Engagement with this book means subscribing to ideals that might better the lives of those who have been used and made voiceless by a patriarchal society. And so, the reading of the book itself is a political act with great weight. - Eshani Surya, Atticus Review Link to review
  • In "Notes", Wunker’s literary erudition, pop-culture references, and memoir fragments work together as a model of intersectional feminism and allyship. - Christine Yao, Canadian Literature Link to review
  • This collection by Erin Wunker…is the spiritual successor to Rebecca Solnit’s "Men Explain Things to Me". The essays are air-tight, intertwining traces of memory and theory, the best kind of non-fiction. Wunker takes up the figure of the Feminist Killjoy and explores its political potential, bringing an essential stream of feminist theory to a wider public. - David Gutowski, Large Hearted Boy Link to review
  • “Notes from a Feminist Killjoy is an answer to what is needed now — a self-consciously contingent rejoinder to the question of “who needs feminism?” - / Christina Turner Link to review
  • Wunker renders the label “feminist killjoy” one that readers can be proud to wear. - Becky Robertson, Quill and Quire Link to review


  • Winner, 2017 Atlantic Book Awards, Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
  • Winner, 2017 East Coast Literary Awards, Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award
  • Best Book, 2017: Gold Winner, The Coast Halifax
  • Mention, 2016 Quill and Quire Book of the Year Selection
  • Finalist, 2017 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Book*hug



rights sold: French (Quebec), Turkey

rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: Adult

number of pages: 214

publication date: 11/01/2016

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book