451 Artisan Way, Somerville, MA 02145
Why was your bookstore founded/what role does it play in the community?
When Christina started All She Wrote Books, she saw was a lack in different types of bookstores, and a lack of curation in the types of feminist and queer books carried. And she asked herself — instead of blending marginalized voices into bookstore sections where they’ll still be overshadowed by some of publishing’s biggest names, why can’t we have standalone sections where the focus is truly just writers who have been historically marginalized?
The other reason she started the bookstore was personal. As a survivor of domestic abuse, Christina couldn’t find stories of people that survived domestic violence — not just women, but queer people, or anyone. Additionally, as someone who is neurodivergent, she saw a lack of representation of disabled characters as well. When she was younger, Christina did not see any books with someone in a wheelchair featured in it and being this bold, amazing character, or anybody talking about autism, whether it was fiction or nonfiction.
Deep down, Christina knew these types of books were out there, and so she asked, why can’t we expose people to these types of books? Let’s get them out of their patterns of reading and buying and take a chance on something different that they otherwise would not pick up. Instead of focusing on everybody, let’s focus on the ones that were consistently marginalized throughout time that have worthy, beautiful stories.
What makes your bookstore unique?
All She Wrote Books is more than just a feminist/queer independent bookstore. When we think of the words “intersectional”, “feminist”, “queer” that are in our mission statement — we think of them as guiding lights for those who are not only actively seeking queer/feminist spaces out like ours, but for those who want more spaces like ours in the world. Our bookstore is a place where people can find themselves in the pages of the books we have curated on our shelves. It is a place where having conversations about meaningful topics with people is just as important as getting them their next read or helping them build on their TBR pile. It is a safe, inclusive space where you’re loved, cared for, and respected no matter what walk of life you come from. Bottom line: accessibility and community are at the core of what we do, day in and day out.
What is something that no one knows about your bookstore?
Our feminist books display table is actually Christina’s father’s old writing desk. Her dad was one of her biggest supporters, especially when she decided to open up our brick-and-mortar location in the midst of the pandemic (July 2020). Although he is no longer here with us, there will always be a part of him here — you can feel his warm and kind presence throughout the bookstore.